At the age of 37, Luka Modric will lead the charge for the Croatian National Team in the FIFA World Cup later this year.
The midfielder is understandably the centre-piece in Zlatko Dalic’s side and participated in every minute of Croatia’s two UEFA Nations League encounters in the recently concluded international break.
He returned to Real Madrid with a minor injury and the club confirmed the same via an official announcement on Wednesday. While this does come as a blow to Carlo Ancelotti’s plans, Modric’s fitness is of top priority given his age.
According to reports from Mario Cortegana, the midfield maestro will miss two or three games in light of his fitness setback. The exact period of his absence will be determined by how he recovers.
For the games against Osasuna and Shakhtar Donetsk, Dani Ceballos is best placed to replace Modric in the middle of the park. The Spaniard is expected to start alongside Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni though Eduardo Camavinga makes a strong case to start as well.
In the best-case scenario, the Ballon d’Or winner will make his return against Getafe at Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Yet, it is likely that he will not be rushed and may make his next appearance only prior to El Clasico.
Many expect this to be the 37-year-old’s final season at the top level. Yet, Modric continues to defy all odds and deliver top-notch performances week in and week out for both club and country.
This season, he already has two goals and one assist for Los Blancos in nine appearances.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.