This has proven to be an odd season for Luka Modric. Usually considered one of the finest midfielders in Europe, the Croat has had to spectate a host of Real Madrid matches from the bench this season.
This is due to the club’s newfound faith in young options such as Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Jude Bellingham, which has put players like Modric and Toni Kroos in the backseat.
Amid a lack of game-time, many believe Modric may even leave Santiago Bernabeu before the end of the season.
Saudi giants hunt Modric
Despite being 38, the Real Madrid superstar has no shortage of suitors either, it seems.
According to Rudy Galetti, Al-Ahli have become the latest club to eye a move for Modric. It appears the Saudi Arabian giants are keen on signing the midfielder in the upcoming January transfer window.
Another club interested in signing the veteran midfielder is Al Ittihad, which had notably acquired the services of Karim Benzema, earlier in the summer.
Both clubs are expected to make an effort to sign Modric in January, before seeking the green light from Real Madrid.
Modric’s season so far
Modric, for his part, has enjoyed a mixed season at the Bernabeu this term. He had to endure a difficult start to the season, where he was barely getting any regular minutes.
That has improved over the course of the season, with all of his four starts in the league coming after September.
It was also expected that the midfielder’s game-time will improve following the win over Barcelona, more so with Aurelien Tchouameni getting injured.
That is perhaps why the Croatian was handed a start in the recent game against Rayo Vallecano, though the club ended up losing two points.
Nevertheless, it is hard to determine whether or not Modric would be open to leaving Bernabeu in January. A lot may depend on the kind of offers he gets from the Saudi giants.
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.