It has been a strange season so far for Real Madrid icon Luka Modric, as he has found himself warming the benches more often than not.
Having signed a new contract earlier this year, Modric expected to be more involved than he has been so far.
But manager Carlo Ancelotti has decided to place his faith in the future with Jude Bellingham, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, and Aurelien Tchouameni playing more regularly in midfield, leaving Modric watching on from the sidelines.
It has sparked speculations about the Croatian legend’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Saudi Arabian clubs sniffing around.
Modric’s agent leaves the door open
And now, speaking to Arabian outlet Shooot (h/t Sport Klub), Borja Couce, the agent of Modric, has refused to rule out the possibility of a transfer to Saudi in the near future.
The 38-year-old midfielder’s agent revealed that there were offers to make the jump to the Middle East during the summer itself, something that the player did not take up.
“Saudi clubs? This summer there was interest in Modric with the aim of signing him. The player had several offers, from a club from the capital and another club,” Couce said.
Modric’s agent then said that the veteran is fully focused on Real Madrid at present, but refused to close the doors on a future move to Saudi Arabia, saying:
“Modric is currently thinking about Real Madrid, but the idea of him moving to the Saudi Pro League is possible if the offer is suitable.”
Could Modric leave in January?
Of Real Madrid’s 17 matches across all competitions this season, Modric has started just six (four in La Liga, two in the UCL).
The situation is very unfamiliar for the 38-year-old, who has always been a regular fixture in the starting lineup at Real Madrid.
As such, there is a possibility that he might consider a move away in January, with the midfielder himself not ruling out the possibility during the last international break, when he said:
“I wouldn’t want to go into that now (his exit), there is still a long time to go until the winter and the end of the year.
“I’ve said it many times, at my age, you can’t plan anything in advance, you have to go one day at a time from game to game and we’ll see what the future holds.”
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.