Surprise reports have emerged today that Manchester United have made Tottenham Hotspurs midfield maestro Luka Modric their leading summer transfer target. Sir Alex Ferguson sees Modric as a young Paul Scholes, an attacking midfielder and ball player who can make United tick and is thought to be preparing a £25million bid for the 24 year old Croatian midfielder.
Ferguson was even full of praise for Modric in his programme notes ahead of their 3-1 home win over Spurs on Saturday. Talking about the 5ft 8in player and other small talents in football he commented “And I give you another wee man who’ll be at Old Trafford this afternoon, Luka Modric who is playing out of his skin at the moment”
The Croatia international is in the classic mould of Central European playmakers and signed a six year contract for the North London club after Dinamo Zagreb agreed a £16.5m fee in 2008 following an impressive tournament in the European Championships.
Modric struggled early in his first season as he was played out of position by Juan Ramos as a deep lying midfielder and also suffered with knee problems. It was only when Harry Redknapp took over and pushed him further forward that his career at White Hart Lane took off.
His start to the 2009-2010 season was curtailed by a broken leg in the 2-1 defeat of Birmingham City in August but he returned in December and has been in great form during Spurs’ push for a Champions League spot.
The move for Modric is bad news for Michael Carrick, who looks to have lost favour with Ferguson. Carrick has only started one of the last five games after two poor performances against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter finals but Spurs boss Redknapp is a huge fan of his and may insist on Carrick being part of any Modric deal.
Another big fan is UEFA Technical Director and former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier who noted in his Euro Championship report that “Not only is Modric a very hard worker, he has a good brain and he provided some calmness and composure to the midfield”
Houllier continued “His passing was neat and his contribution was outstanding. He was not only winning the ball, he was passing well. He is very influential does not only works hard, he also makes the other people play well around him”
Ahead of the 2009-10 season, former Spurs captain now TV pundit Jamie Redknapp said of Modric “He’s a hell of a player and a manager’s dream. He trains like a demon and never complains, will work with and without the ball and can beat a defender with a trick or with a pass. He could get into any team in the top four and he’ll be even better this season”
That broken leg at Birmingham meant that Modric never really got his season started until he made his first appearance in the Premiership for four months in the London derby against West Ham. Spurs won 2-0 with Modric making a telling contribution by scoring with the leg he broke in the 11th minute.
The Croatia midfielder will not have any involvement at the World Cup in South Africa which will mean a good, long break between seasons. If Ferguson is successful in luring the classy midfielder to Old Trafford, Manchester United fans can be certain of witnessing a touch of class in midfield come the new season.
Will Luka Modric be a good signing for the new season?