Football

Chelsea wasting time with Luka Modric negotiations

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At face value it isn't the most obvious fit. On one hand you have Real Madrid - a colossus in the world of football with a reputation for signing big players for big money - and expecting big things. Then there's Luka Modric.

The diminutive Croatian is probably the most unassuming player to pull on the famous white shirt; he rarely gives an interview and you're more likely to see Emile Heskey appear at the World Cup than you are to see Modric falling out of a nightclub with an army of hangers-on in tow, or splashed across the front page of a tabloid.

Indeed, it seemed very much like a square peg in a round hole when he arrived at the Bernabeu in 2012 from Tottenham in a deal believed to have been worth around £30 million. Chelsea were interested as were Manchester United, but the former Dynamo Zagreb player was only ever heading in one direction, despite a Daniel Levy-shaped obstacle in his way.

Almost immediately he was voted as the worst signing of the 2012/13 season in La Liga alongside Alex Song, by a national newspaper, while he also struggled for regular first team action with Xabi Alonso and Sami Khediera the main men for Madrid in the middle of the park. When he did get a look in he couldn't find the same fluency he demonstrated while gliding around White Hart Lane.

How times have changed. While he may be the shy and retiring type, under Carlo Ancelotti he has flourished into one of Madrid's most prominent players - and that's saying something given the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and a host of other superstars.

With Xabi Alonso's star fading, the 28-year-old sets the tempo and is the reference point for most of Madrid's attacks; everything goes through him. His form last season was simply outstanding, and he was unlucky to miss out on La Liga's team of the season to the equally-superb Ivan Rakitic. He was key in Los Blancos' march to the Champions League final where they finally laid a ghost to rest by claiming 'La Decima', too.

That brings us on to Chelsea's attempts to sign him. Reports in Spain today say that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is willing to let Ramires head to the Bernabeu - but only if Modric goes in the opposite direction to Stamford Bridge.

Metro claim that the deal would involve Ramires and £10 million winging its way to Madrid, while Modric would head to the club that tried to sign him - and the club that Modric wanted to join - in 2011.

If it were to happen, Modric would be the stand-out player for Chelsea, there's no doubt. However it will forever be a pipe dream. Real Madrid have come to rely on Modric to spring counter attacks by working his way out of tricky situations in order to release the feared BBC - Benzema, Bale and Cristiano - and there are truly only a few players in the world who can do what he does. Simply put, they would never dream of selling him after the season he's just had. Metro say that Madrid may be interested if £20 million was offered with Ramires, but that seems fanciful.

Plus, Mourinho's most successful team at Chelsea were built around a core of powerful players who could blast lesser rivals away mercilessly - does Modric really fit in that mould? The Blues were criticised for their counter-attacking style last season and will surely step up their game in order to appease Roman Abramovich next term, and while Modric could certainly assist with that, their current core of Nemanja Matic, Marco van Ginkel and the soon-to-arrive Cesc Fabregas are more suited to Chelsea's overall game.

The idea of a deal for Modric will certainly appeal to Chelsea fans, evidently as it does to Chelsea officials - but this one is better left as a dream rather than wasting time trying to make it a reality. 

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Topics:
Chelsea
Luka Modric
Football
Premier League
Real Madrid

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