Now 37, Luka Modric is well and truly in the final phase of his career. However, it does not seem like it. The midfielder is still running the Real Madrid midfield with just as much energy as he had half a decade ago, or more.
Madrid are very happy with Modric, and want to renew his contract. His contract situation will not depend on Jude Bellingham or any other midfielder’s arrival, as was confirmed by the veteran himself.
However, Los Blancos frown upon the fact that Modric continues to play with Croatia, reports AS.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur man has the most caps in the history of Croatian football, with 162, and is also unanimously regarded as the best player ever produced from the country.
His achievements are also well-noted, including a runners-up World Cup medal in 2018, and a bronze one in 2022.
Most assumed that Modric would retire after the 2022 World Cup, but that does not seem to be the case, as he has been called up for European Championship qualifiers against Wales and Turkey.
It is clear, though, that he does not have much left in his tank. Since he is an undisputed starter for both club and country at his age, it makes him as big an injury and exhaustion risk, especially with the hectic schedule.
It serves as a huge problem for Madrid, who, while having impressive depth in midfield, have endured a lot of injuries over the past few seasons.
Real Madrid considered signing 25-year-old Bundesliga defender on loan after Alaba’s injury
David Alaba’s ACL rupture towards the end of 2023 sent a wave of sudden panic within the Real Madrid coaching staff and during the January transfer market, the team from the Spanish capital explored several opportunities.
In that context, a report from AS has affirmed that Real Madrid considered signing Union Berlin’s Diogo Leite on loan until the end of the season, but the move and the entire thought eventually died out.
Real Madrid liked what they saw
Leite was identified by Real Madrid as a player with significant potential, possessing excellent ball control, and having demonstrated his capabilities at the highest level.
However, rather than exploring a permanent transfer, the possibility of a loan until the end of the season was under consideration, taking into account the specific circumstances faced by Carlo Ancelotti’s team.
Notably, the 25-year-old played the full 90 minutes in both matches against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu (1-0) and at his home (3-2) in the Champions League group stages.
Summer move not being considered
Leite, a product of FC Porto youth academy, has gained valuable experience under Pepe’s guidance while at the Portuguese club which made him Union Berlin’s fourth most expensive signing in history.
As of today, though, Real Madrid’s summer transfer target list excludes central defenders, with the exception of Rafa Marin, who is on loan to Alaves.
Interestingly enough, Leite has garnered a strong reputation in the Bundesliga, and sources indicate that Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen is expressing interest in acquiring his services.
As far as Real Madrid are concerned, the likes of Eder Miliato and Alaba would return by the beginning of the next season and with Antonio Rudiger also available, the centre-back positions would be more or less covered.