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Real Madrid veteran star turned down Al Nassr in the summer, confirms ex-director: “It’s true”

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Photo by DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images

Luka Modric is one of many Real Madrid players staring at an uncertain future at Santiago Bernabeu.

The midfielder only has six months remaining on his current deal at the Bernabeu, with many expecting him to leave after the end of the season.

Modric could have been playing elsewhere even now had it not been for a late change of heart. He was highly linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the summer, especially after Real Madrid started to put faith in younger midfield options.

Former Al Nassr director confirms Modric links

In a recent interview, former Al Nassr director Goran Vucevic has even confirmed the Modric links, suggesting that he was indeed close to joining Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2023.

“It’s true,” said Vucevic (h/t Mundo Deportivo). “Luka was our great wish, we spoke with him on several occasions with all due respect to Real Madrid, which was always his first option.”

Modric was close to moving to Saudi Arabia in the summer (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite the arrival of Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler, Modric decided to stay at Real Madrid in the summer, owing to his good relationship with the club and his eagerness to continue playing at the highest level of football.

Vucevic, though, confirmed that Al Nassr had also harboured a good relationship with Modric.

“We had a good relationship, we met in Riyadh before the World Cup in Qatar and in Madrid. The owners of the club, Modric and I, were in the meetings. 

“Luka told us that he was not considering any other options than Real Madrid and Al Nassr. He said his first option was Madrid and if he didn’t stay, he would come. That’s the only truth,” Vucevic added.

It must be noted that Vucevic was one of the masterminds behind Al Nassr’s capture of Cristiano Ronaldo about a year ago.

Praising the Portuguese superstar, Vucevic said, “I have never seen a professional bigger than him. Every morning he was the first to come to the club, long before the others, we sat down, drank coffee, talked.”

As for Modric, the midfielder is indeed in the final few months of his contract and everything suggests he will move on from Bernabeu in the summer, with Saudi Arabia emerging as a possible destination.

Whether or not Modric will stick to his words and join Al Nassr remains to be seen.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid identify two major areas of threat from Borussia Dortmund

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The players in the Real Madrid dressing room are well aware that they are considered the favourites for the upcoming Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. 

According to journalist Jorge Picon, the team’s performance in the final stages of the season has boosted their confidence and everyone in the squad believes they have a great chance of winning the final.

Despite this, though, there are some concerns about one player and two potential threats from the opposition. 

Now, Real Madrid are good at handling the pressure that comes with being the favourites, but they know that Dortmund are a team that cannot be underestimated.

Real Madrid aware of the threat Dortmund pose

This confidence, however, does not translate into arrogance. Real Madrid understand that Dortmund have the ability to cause them problems. 

To address this, manager Carlo Ancelotti must focus on two key challenges: dealing with offensive transitions and defending set pieces.

Dortmund are not a team that exert high pressure on their opponents, but they are very dangerous on the counterattack. 

Borussia Dortmund are very dangerous in set pieces. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

They play a direct and vertical style of football, relying on quick, few-touch plays to move the ball up the field. Instead of building play slowly from the back, they often utilise Mats Hummels’ ability to make precise long passes to players running behind the defence.

In terms of set pieces, Dortmund pose a significant threat with their tall players, as Niclas Fullkrug, Mats Hummels, and Nico Schlotterbeck are all over 1.90 meters tall, making them dangerous targets during corner kicks and free kicks.

Dortmund’s forwards are quick

Speed is another factor that Real Madrid need to be wary of. This is because Karim Adeyemi is a particularly fast player who can break through defensive lines with his runs. 

He usually plays on the wing and can switch sides with Jadon Sancho, but Adeyemi is considered Dortmund’s main offensive weapon due to his pace and ability to exploit spaces. 

While Sancho is also a skilled dribbler who can take on defenders one-on-one, Real Madrid has two reliable full-backs in Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy who will be tasked with stopping him.

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