It was less than 12 months ago that Luka Modrić was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. Some sections of the English media even had it as a done deal, but could the move become a reality this summer?
The Sun newspaper ran an article on June the 8th of 2012 claiming that Sir Alex Ferguson had offered £25 million, rising to £30 million, for the diminutive midfielder. Modrić at the time was with Croatia at Euro 2012, but was allegedly said to be in touch with talks and would seal the move on his return.
The Croatian had stated the previous season that he had no intention of leaving Spurs when linked heavily to a move across town to Chelsea. He had signed a six year deal in 2010 with the North London club and fully intended to honour the contract.
However, in mid-July of 2012, Spurs new coach André Villas-Boas confirmed the player wanted away and would be leaving the club ,but did not reveal his destination. Many predicted a bidding war between Chelsea and Manchester United, but in the end Daniel Levy (Tottenham’s Chairman and main negotiator) sprung a surprise.
Real Madrid had thrown their hat in the ring and Spurs would prefer the player to leave the Premiership, rather than come back to haunt them. They had previously negotiated well to get a good fee when Dimitar Berbatov wanted away and signed for the Manchester giants. This time the Bernabeu club were told the fee was £40 million.
Rather than frighten the Madrid club away and lose their asset to a Premiership rival, Spurs took a £10 million hit and accepted £30 million on August the 28th, near the close of the transfer window, Madrid’s only signing of the summer. Daniel Levy at the time stated “Luka has been terrific for us and, while we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership.”
So back to the present and the latest rumours to rise relating Modrić with a move back to the Premiership. He has struggled to find his feet at Madrid, starting infrequently and looking unhappy during training sessions. His goal at Old Trafford which effectively sealed Manchester United’s exit was only his second of the season.
Sir Alex is a great admirer of the player. He bought Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund last summer, but needs to strengthen an area of the pitch that is occupied by the ageing Giggs and the soon to retire, once again, Scholes and has seen others injured or missing through illness for large parts of the season.
However, Real Madrid’s interest in Gareth Bale and their “special relationship” with Spurs and Daniel Levy could throw a spanner in the works. Spurs will not part so easily with their prize asset this time, knowing they can ask for an astronomical fee for a player who has exploded into the game and is now being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo himself.
Madrid could use Modrić as a makeweight in any deal for the Welsh wizard this summer prompting another drawn out transfer saga between Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Could it be déjà vu for a third summer in a row concerning Luka Modrić and these three clubs?