Rafael van der Vaart has expressed his sympathy for Tottenham team-mate Luka Modric, as the circus surrounding his long-term future and speculation linking him with Real Madrid continues to rumble on.

The 26-year-old midfielder is believed to be Jose Mourinho's primary summer transfer target, but the La Liga giants have so far failed to meet Spurs' valuation of the Croatian playmaker.

Modric was wanted by Chelsea last summer, but Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy stood firm over the player's transfer demands, keeping him at White Hart Lane.

Now Andre Villas-Boas is facing a fight to keep Modric in north London after he refused to fly out with the rest of the squad for Spurs' pre-season trip to the United States.

Van der Vaart, a former Madrid player himself, can understand the attraction of the Santiago Bernabeu, but feels Modric should reconsider his desire to leave England, and hopes the situation will be resolved quickly.

"You can't compare Real Madrid with other teams because they are the biggest team in the world," he told skysports.com. "It was really an honour that I played there and I'm still really thankful. I think every player wants to play there.

"I went to Luka's house and spoke to him after training. I told him what happened to me when I wanted to sign for Real [from Hamburg].

"I've been one of the closest people to Modric in the dressing room and I feel for him. It is a difficult situation.

"The chairman is angry, but Luka is very upset with what is happening. I think everything will be fixed in three or four days."

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