It started out as a transfer rumour but it has taken a tone that Real Madrid don't like and one that baffles them. The Luka Modric to Inter Milan speculation has caught the club off guard and it seems the rumours are growing. "He will not be leaving for a euro less than €750 million," was the reponse from Florentino Perez, who took a strong approach to quash the speculation.
During a summer that saw Real Madrid lose Cristiano Ronaldo, their two main objectives were Neymar and Courtois. The loss of Modric, however, would destabilise the team entirely. The club figure they might have to give in to Mateo Kovacic's demands to be sold and that was set to open up opportunities for Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos. That is why Lopetegui requested that no offers be listened to for the pair. They believe that losing Ronaldo for €100 million, a fee higher than what they paid for him, is not bad business but to allow Modric to go for zero euro, which is what Inter are pushing for, would be a disaster.
Real Madrid have not ruled out increasing Modric's salary to put him in like with Sergio Ramos and just below Gareth Bale to ensure he doesn't leave even in 2020 when he is 34. Vlado Lemic, Modric's agent is well connected at Inter Milan, which makes it all the more concerning for los Blancos. Both Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez, the club's sporting director, are in the United States with the team and Modric is due back to training on Sunday. They are expected back on Wednesday and if one or both of them don't return before the scheduled date on Wednesday, the meeting between both parties as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport will have to wait.