Luka Modric back at Real Madrid with rumors rife that he may move to Inter Milan

Will he stay or will he go? Luka Modric is the subject reports linking him to Inter Milan. (AFP)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Luka Modric back at Real Madrid with rumors rife that he may move to Inter Milan

  • World Cup runner-up has just returned to training at the Spanish giants.
  • Inter Milan are reportedly ready to pay big money for the midfield maestro.

Luka Modric returned to training at Real Madrid on Wednesday along with five other World Cup players, against a background of contradictory rumors about his future.
One Spanish sports daily, AS, reported that the midfielder who led Croatia to the World Cup final was subject to a big bid from Inter Milan, while a competing newspaper, Marca said the 32-year-old was about to accept a pay rise from Real and sign a contract extension.
Modric, awarded the Golden Ball as best player at the World Cup, was given a break rather than join Real’s pre-season tour of the US, as were another Croatian World Cup finalist, Mateo Kovacic, who was reported to have traveled to London to join Chelsea, French World Cup winner Raphael Varane and Brazilian duo Marcelo and Casemiro.
On Wednesday, as the Real first team flew back to Madrid after beating Roma in New Jersey on Tuesday night, the club said the World Cup players were in training.
“The Croatian midfielder joined Marcelo, Varane, Casemiro and Kovacic, who did individual work in the gym. The four players trained with nine players from the under-18s,” Real Madrid said on their web site.
Among the conflicting reports, Marca said that Modric, who joined Real in 2012, “did not consider his current salary matched the level of his performances” and that the player, who turns 33 early in September, was about to sign the best contract of his career.
AS said Modric, who has not commented publicly, “foresaw joining Inter.” Marca said “he would stay at Madrid” because “the club intended to increase his salary.”


Spain considers playing Super Cup in Saudi Arabia

Updated 11 min 33 sec ago
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Spain considers playing Super Cup in Saudi Arabia

  • Proposal will be made at the federation’s general assembly next week

MADRID: The Spanish soccer federation is looking into the possibility of playing the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia beginning next year.

Federation President Luis Rubiales said Wednesday playing in the Middle East is one of the options being considered for the tournament, as well as a “final four” format with the top finishers in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey.

The competition has been played in a one-game final between the champions at the beginning of the season. The idea is to play the new Super Cup in January.

The proposal will be made during the federation’s general assembly next week.

Rubiales did not confirm reports the deal will be worth €30 million ($33 million) a year for six seasons, saying “it will be difficult” to reach that value.

The federation president, one of the main critics of the Spanish league’s idea to play a regular-season match in the US, said the decision would take into consideration the players’ health, noting that playing in Saudi Arabia would not affect them as much as if the game was played in the US or Asia, where travel time and time differences were greater. Last year’s final, won by Barcelona against Sevilla, was played in Tangier, Morocco.

This year’s Italian Super Cup was played in Saudi Arabia as part of a multi-year deal worth more than €20 million ($22 million).  The Spanish players’ association, which complained about the Spanish league’s attempt to play in the US, did not oppose the idea of playing in Saudi Arabia.

“We weren’t against playing in the United States, what we wanted at the time was to be consulted about the idea and to give our opinion,” association president David Aganzo said Wednesday at an event organized by Europa Press. “If the proposal for the Super Cup is good for the players, we won’t have a problem with it.”

The Spanish league had to scrap the game in Florida after Barcelona, which would have faced Girona, backed down because of the lack of consensus among the parties involved. The league said it will try playing abroad again next season.

There is also a plan by the federation to reduce the number of games in the Copa del Rey to help clear up the calendar and keep teams from playing too many matches. The competition would include single elimination matches in some rounds, instead of a two-leg series. The proposal is also expected to be presented in next week’s general assembly.

“The clubs and the players want less official matches in the calendar,” Rubiales said.