Reportedly a target for Real Madrid, Luka Modric will doubtless have impressed many of his potential future teammates with another fine performance for Croatia, against Spain.
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The 26-year-old Croatian international is reportedly valued at £35 million as top-flight teams from the Premier League such as Manchester United and Chelsea were previously thought to be the top contenders.
Modric's Croatia teammate doesn't believe Chelsea and Manchester United will land the star midfielder.
"[Modric] loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain," said Sporting Gijon striker Mate Bilic. "He's very close to agreeing a move."
Bilic's comments surfaced amid reports that Real Madrid were preparing a bid for Modric. Manager Jose Mourinho hopes to win the Champions League with his third team after reaching the semi-finals in 2012.
Modric was a huge part of Tottenham Hotspurs' fourth-place finish last season, and is considered among the best playmakers in the world. Mourinho is enamored with pairing Modric with Xabi Alonso next season, according to The Independent.
If a move for Modric falls through, Madrid may pursue Alonso's Spanish teammate, David Silva. Silva currently plays for Premier League Champion Manchester City and a move does not appear likely. Madrid does not hold any financial leverage to pull Silva away, City's wealthy owner is not swayed by large offers, and Madrid does not want to pay much more than the £29 million that City paid for him in 2010.
The Daily Mail reports that Mourinho has taken to begging, as he has asked SIlva to hand in a transfer request, but Silva's agent, Julio Llorente, reports that the 26-year-old midfielder is happy in Manchester and has no desire to play for the Spanish club.
These potential acquisitions have been reported amid speculation that two talented players will be leaving Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
French striker Karim Benzema is being courted by Manchester City, a team worried about the long-term futures of its enigmatic forwards, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. Benzema's agent, Jonathan Hope, has already gone on record about Manchester City's interest in Benzema.
"We are working closely to secure the exclusive mandate to obtain the paperwork firstly after a serious interest from the champions," said Hope, according to Sky Sports.
With 21 goals and seven assists last season, the 24-year-old forward made the most of his 34 appearances for Madrid.
Manchester City is expected to be one of the favorites to win the Champions League title next year, and have the talent to repeat as Premier League champions. With the club's recent success, and the huge amount of money that City's owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan can throw around, Benzema joining the Citizens this summer seems rather plausible.
Madrid may lose additional young talent this summer as 22-year-old Joselu has drawn interest from West Ham United, according to Daily Mirror. Although West Ham can in no way compete with Madrid in terms of the availability of championship opportunities, the Hammers plan to include a buy-back option for Real Madrid.
Madrid is reportedly split between loaning the young Spanish forward and selling him with a buy-back clause. TalkSport reported that Arsenal is also interested, since Robin van Persie has yet to make a firm commitment to the Gunners.
Mourinho is unlikely to give Joselu a substantial amount of playing time next season. Madrid has some of the most talented forwards in the world, and a move to another club might be the best way for Joselu to see first-team action.
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