Essien blow for Chelsea as Spurs stand firm on Modric

CHELSEA have been rocked by the news that midfield star Michael Essien could be out for six months with a knee injury, while their primary transfer target Luka Modric will remain at Spurs, according to his manager Harry Redknapp.

Ghana midfielder Essien damaged ligaments in his right knee during a training session last week, the third time in his career that he has suffered serious damage to his knee, and has undergone an operation.

Meanwhile, Redknapp has reiterated his desire to keep the want-away Modric (inset) in response to speculation that Chelsea have submitted an improved bid of £27m for the Croatia star.

“I’ve not heard anything,” said Redknapp. “They [Chelsea] are going to make an improved offer? I should think they would need to – £22m for Luka Modric would be a joke anyway if he was for sale. He’s a fantastic footballer. The offer is a joke in terms of how much money they have offered.

“Most importantly we need to keep him, he’s a fantastic player for us. I certainly wouldn’t want to lose him but it’s a difficult situation.”