There are mounting reports that Luka Modric’s long-awaited Real Madrid career could be over before it ever really got going. In one of the most grueling transfer sagas of last summer, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy finally agreed to a fee of around £33 million with Real Madrid to take the Croatian playmaker to the Bernabeu.
Quite how Modric would fit into Madrid’s La Liga winning team had raised doubts from the start and those question marks have so far been well founded. The 27-year-old has made just nine starts in the league and when he has played it has predominantly been as an alternative to Mesut Ozil in the No. 10 role.
But as those who saw him excel at Tottenham will testify, Modric, who has always struggled in front of goal, is at his best when in a more withdrawn role and given the ability to dictate proceedings.
Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that Modric has so far been a significant disappointment and there was perhaps little surprise that readers of Spanish publication Marca recently voted him the worst signing in Spain this season.
It appears that ignominious accolade provided the spark for a raft of speculation in Britain suggesting that Modric could soon be back in the Premier League.
The Daily Star recently claimed that Chelsea, Arsenal and former club Tottenham were all monitoring Modric’s situation in Madrid. Previously, Manchester United were also cited by the Daily Mirror as an interested party.
Chelsea have previously had a £40 million offer rejected for Modric in the summer of 2011, while Manchester United were heavily linked before the former Dinamo Zagreb man joined Madrid. The Blues’ financial clout would potentially make them favorites to get a deal done.
Modric has admitted that he had found things tough in the Spanish capital, but expressed his desire to come through his difficult beginnings.
“This is Real Madrid. I understand there is great pressure for new signings to succeed here,” he said, according to ESPN.
"I'm not making excuses, I am not that kind of person, but it is very challenging to adapt to life at a big club like Madrid.
"I have had a few good performances, if not in every game, but I believe that I can prove I have something to offer."
There is little suggestion that either Modric or Madrid will be prepared to cut ties in this month’s transfer window. But if the diminutive midfielder’s struggles continue through the rest of the season and a bid that approaches Madrid’s outlay arrives in the summer then Modric may soon be back in England.