09:10pm, August 10th, 2018
Luka Modric and his agents have played a blinder since his return to Real Madrid from World Cup duty.
Ultimately unsuccessful in that competition, the Croatian nevertheless led his side all the way to the final, only to succumb to a strong France side.
It showed once again how important Modric was to his country, and Los Blancos have known for years that he, more than any other player in the squad, is the one that keeps things ticking over at club level.
A modern-day unsung hero, so much of the work the midfielder does is unseen but, like Sergio Busquets at Barcelona, when they’re not around, boy do you notice it!
We’ll never know if alleged interest from Internazionale was genuine or merely a ploy to get Modric a new, bumper contract, and one which is likely to be his last big pay day before retirement.
Though full financial details are yet to be released, the uplift in his salary now sees him on a par with captain Sergio Ramos, and only behind Gareth Bale in the earning stakes.
Florentino Perez noted that he would be entirely comfortable with ensuring that Modric was happy with any new deal, as he wanted the midfielder to feel valued and understand how important those at the club feel he is to Real Madrid.
With the soap opera surrounding Thibaut Courtois finally at an end, and Eden Hazard and Neymar unlikely to arrive before the window closes later in the month, all of the uncertainty is now gone after what’s already been an unfortunate summer for Real.
The squad can now get down to business with no distractions.
The UEFA Super Cup final against city rivals Atlético Madrid looms large and Julen Lopetegui will be delighted with the business that the club have done in the last week in order to, finally, give him the settled squad he desired when taking the reins.
Modric looked sharp in Friday’s training session, safe in the knowledge that his future is secure and his bank balance will be swollen by a few more million euros.
He’ll continue to oil the wheels for Los Blancos and ensure that, despite the loss of countryman Mateo Kovacic for a season, the midfield will be competitive.
His best years are far from being behind him and if he can remain injury free for the most part, after thinking there was a real chance that Modric could be on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu, Real will now feel like they’ve got another new signing.
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