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Will Real Madrid’s Luka Modric join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia?

With no agreement yet on a Real Madrid contract extension, veteran Luka Modric has received a big-money offer to move to the Saudi Pro League.

With no agreement yet on a Real Madrid contract extension, veteran Luka Modric has received a big-money offer to move to the Saudi Pro League.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, who is out of contact at the Bernabéu at the end of the season, has been approached about a move to Saudi Arabia.

Modric would double money in Saudi league

Although the 37-year-old continues to prioritise signing an extension at Madrid, the money his Saudi suitors have placed on the table is huge: they are ready to double his current salary by paying him €25m a year after tax. What’s more, Modric would be given a two-year deal in the Saudi Pro League, rather than the 12-month contract he can expect to get in the Spanish capital.

Modric has informed Madrid of the offer, but is yet to sit down and negotiate with the LaLiga club’s general manager, José Ángel Sánchez. With talks over Toni Kroos’ contract extension seemingly close to completion, Los Blancos’ efforts are fully focused on securing the signing of Borussia Dortmund and England’s Jude Bellingham, amid stiff competition from Manchester City.

At Madrid, Modric is considered one of the club’s best signings of the last decade. There is particular recognition of the Croat’s stellar performances in big games in the latter stages of competitions.

Croatia duty an issue for Real Madrid

However, there are two problems. Firstly, the Spaniards cannot match what the Saudis are offering. Secondly, Modric appears committed to carrying on playing for his national team - unlike Kroos, who has retired from Germany duty to focus on Madrid. Croatia are due to play in the UEFA Nations League finals in June, and the veteran is also set on going to the Euros with his country next year. At Madrid, there are doubts over whether a player of Modric’s age can add several more games a season to his already demanding club commitments.

It did not go unnoticed at the club that he was among the players who took the longest to kick back into gear for Madrid after the World Cup in November and December. That said, there’s also no escaping the fact that, since getting into his stride once more, he has been sensational. As the season reaches its business end, Modric is one of Madrid’s most in-form players.

That was also the case last term, when the midfielder was key - together with Thibaut Courtois and Karim Benzema - in the Champions League comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.

“I want to stay at Madrid, but only if I deserve to”

The last time Modric spoke publicly about his future was on Croatia duty in February. “I want to stay at Madrid, but only if I deserve to,” he said. “Not because it’s an award for my career at the club. Nothing has ever been handed to me on a plate and I don’t want this to be any different. But, whatever happens, nothing will change how I feel about Madrid - it’s my club and nothing will every break that bond.” His passion for Madrid will not dampen the Saudis’ desire to take another top star to their domestic league, however.

Saudis throwing money at major stars

Saudi Arabia’s conflict with Qatar has led the kingdom to invest heavily in soccer in an attempt to counteract the World Cup bounce enjoyed by its neighbour and assert its national identity. With enormous funds at their disposal, clubs in the country are prepared to dig very deep to persuade major players to join. The most recent example of this was Cristiano Ronaldo, Modric’s former Madrid team-mate, who signed for Al Nassr in January on a deal worth around $200m a year.


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