Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp claims chairman Daniel Levy told Luka Modric last year he could join Real Madrid this summer.
The Croatia midfielder has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for the second consecutive summer, with Real Madrid keen to take the 26-year-old to the Bernabeu.
Chelsea's attempts to sign Modric were rebuffed last season and Levy has maintained that hard-line stance again - holding out for £40million for the playmaker.
But Redknapp, who left Spurs in May, believes the club will struggle to deny Modric a move given the promises of the past.
Redknapp told The Sun: "I would not be sure Luka would start the season at Tottenham.
"The club would be happy to sell if they get the right money. The chairman said to him last year 'Give us one more season and if Real come in, I won't stand in your way'."
If Modric is sold it would provide new boss Andre Villas-Boas with a significant transfer kitty and that could see Spurs swoop for Lyon and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
The 25-year-old's father and agent Luc told The Sun: "I'm sure that Hugo's move will be accelerated if Modric joins Real."