Serie A giants Inter are understood to be lining up a move for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić, after reports in Italy claimed that talks have opened between the two clubs.
The 32-year-old midfield maestro was Croatia’s standout player during their World Cup campaign, winning the Golden Ball as he inspired his team all the way through to the final, where they were eventually beaten 4-2 by France.
Although at an advanced stage of his career, Modrić has shown no signs of decline, and played a key role as Real Madrid successfully defended their Champions League crown last season. He could be set for a shock departure from the Spanish capital though, with Sky in Italy reporting that Inter are keen to bring Modrić to Serie A.
The Nerazzurri will play in the Champions League themselves for the first time in six seasons, having clinched their place in the competition with a thrilling final game of the season win over Lazio.
With their return to Europe’s top table in mind, midfield reinforcements have seemingly become manager Luciano Spalletti’s biggest priority. The former Zenit boss has already completed the signing of Radja Nainggolan from rivals Roma, while he is also believed to be closing in on a deal for Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal.
A move to San Siro for Modrić would reunite him with three of his fellow countrymen, with Atletico Madrid full-back Sime Vrsaljko having joined Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic in the Inter camp after completing a season-long loan move.
It would seem unlikely that Los Blancos would want to see Modrić leave, a notion that is supported by Spanish publication Marca, who claim that Real, nor Modrić himself, are interested in ‘breaking their fruitful relationship’.
His departure though could herald the beginning of a new era under new manager Julen Lopetegui, who has endured a rocky start to his career at the Santiago Bernabeu. He has thus far had to deal with the consequences of his controversial appointment ahead of Spain’s World Cup campaign, as well as the stunning loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.