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Page last updated at 06:20 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 07:20 UK

Spurs sign Croatian star Modric

Luka Modric
Modric is a regular for Croatia

Tottenham have beaten Newcastle to the signing of Croatia midfielder Luka Modric for a fee believed to be 15.8m.

The Carling Cup winners have agreed terms with Dinamo Zagreb and the 22-year-old, who will join in the summer subject to a medical and work permit.

Spurs boss Juande Ramos said: "If it goes through we will be delighted. I've seen him several times for his club.

"The club always try to sign good players. We always want to improve the squad and show our ambition."

Modric said: "I'm happy to be joining such a big club. It will be a real pleasure to play in the English league.

"It is the best in Europe, with three English clubs in the semi-finals of the Champions League."

Dinamo Zagreb sporting director Zoran Mamic added: "We're very happy. Luka is leaving for an environment where he's going to progress, while Dinamo showed that we know how to do good deals."

On Tuesday, Modric was reported to have been on Tyneside to discuss a move to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle and visit the club's training ground.

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Recent reports had also linked him with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

The signing of Modric is a major coup for Spurs manager Juande Ramos and the Tottenham hierarchy, who needed to make a statement of intent with the team falling away badly after their Wembley triumph against Chelsea in February.

Spurs' season has fizzled out disappointingly with just a single win in their last seven league games, and a swingeing overhaul of the squad was predicted for this summer, but the signing of Modric has comes as a major surprise.

After making his name in the Bosnian league as a teenager, Modric moved to Croatian club Inter Zapresic before joining Dinamo in 2005.

He made his debut for Croatia a year later and has gone on to win more than 20 caps for Slaven Bilic's side - including the home and away victories over England that cost them their place at Euro 2008.

see also
Thursday's gossip column
13 Mar 08 |  Gossip
England 2-3 Croatia
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals

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