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REAL MADRID

Is Luka Modric going to Inter Miami in MLS?

Links to the MLS side have emerged, just as Modric has been left on the bench for two games in a row.

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) 38 años
JAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Luka Modric, who is seeing few minutes at Real Madrid this season, has been linked with a shock move to Inter Miami.

During the second half of the Derbi Madrileño against Atlético Madrid, with his side losing and looking beaten, Carlo Ancelotti decided to shake things up. He brought on Joselu for Modric and from that moment on, things have not looked the same for the Croatian.

After the defeat, Ancelotti said that he “tried to look for more control of the ball and rest Tchouaméni” and regarding the change he commented that “we don’t pick anyone out [for criticism]. And picking out [Modric] would be too much. He didn’t have a good game but neither did his teammates”. However, the first half against Atlético Madrid was the last time Modric saw minutes on the pitch: against Las Palmas and Girona, he was kept on the bench, something that has not happened since 2012.

Where does Modric sit in terms of minutes played in the Madrid squad?

After stringing together his first six games as a Madrid player, Mourinho left the then-number 19 out of the team against Ajax (Champions League) and Barcelona (league). It was a decision taken given the nature of his transfer to the club: it happened late in the window and his preseason was not ideal.

Having played 489 more games for Madrid and almost 11 years later, Modric has gone back to being a spectator for two games in a row from the substitute bench. The context, it becomes obvious to say, has changed a lot from the 27-year-old who arrived at the club to the player who now, at 37, has a Ballon d’Or and 23 titles under his belt.

Ancelotti has always said that he will be important as the season goes on, but the numbers, cold in some moments and exemplar in others, show that Modric is way down in 15th when it comes to time on the pitch this season, ahead of Ceballos, Militão (injured), Brahim, Mendy, Lunin and Lucas Vázquez.

Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or award.
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Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or award.FRANCK FIFEAFP

‘I am certain that I can still play to the level Madrid require’

In fact, against Girona, a tough game against the league leaders, it was Dani Ceballos who was selected to come on and shake things up in the middle of the park, with Ancelotti, despite the comfortable result, not using his full allowance of 5 changes. There is no physical issue that is known, and that has made eyebrows raise... something’s up with Modric.

During the last international break, on September 7, the Croatian gave an interview in his home country in which he explained that he was “completely calm, aware that I have to work and sooner or later I’ll get chances [to play]. I know there is a lot of competition in midfield, and the young players are elite level. I am certain that I can still play to the level Madrid require.”

“My only condition on staying”, he continued, “was that I was treated like a competitive player, as I have been until now, and that they didn’t keep me in the squad based on past merits. Nobody is happy not to play. I’m not staying for the sake of it, but because I want to play and enjoy football at Madrid”.

Is Modric going to play for Inter Miami?

While the changes to Modric’s playing career keep coming, there is a new name on the horizon: Inter Miami. Pedja Mojatovic, who has a special connection to the Croatian, revealed to SER radio station that Modric “has received offers from the United States and [Inter Miami] in particular. He already received an offer from Saudi Arabia, but he wanted to stay at Madrid.” And the ex-Madrid player went even further, saying that “Messi has been personally interested in the possibility. In Croatia a few days ago, Modric was seen having dinner with David Beckham.”

On the occasions that Modric has stepped out onto the pitch this season, he has, as he would say, to the level Madrid require, but the group of Bellingham, Tchouaméni, Camavinga and Valverde have shone and as such, Inter Miami have turned their heads. Saudi Arabian cash could not tempt Modric, but now the MLS side are in the mix and the scene has changed.