The creative Croatian has thrived since Spurs boss, Harry Redknapp opted to move him to his preferred position of centre-mid, where he’s acted as the heartbeat of Tottenham’s admirable attacking style. The talent of this man has reportedly aroused interest from the country’s biggest clubs, including Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea and our very own Manchester United.
One look at these two clubs indicates where Modric would fit in better; with Premier League Legend and midfield maestro, Paul Scholes hanging up his boots, many United fans expected Luka to swoop in, take Paul’s boots and attempt to fill them. This is most likely due to the fact that aside from Scholesy’s infamous Ginger locks, in effect, both players are one and the same. Both are modestly sized pass masters who can chip in towards the season’s goal tally, exactly the kind of player Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted to having a soft spot for in the past. This, coupled with Scholes’s unavoidable and potentially unsettling departure from the Red Devils, seemed to pose United as favourites to sign Modric, and many assumed he was on United Road, on his way to Old Trafford.
Nonetheless Modric’s most recent comments leave little to the imagination, as he admits he wants to move to one of United’s biggest rivals, Chelsea. Whilst on holiday, Modric spoke to the Daily Mail and seemingly snubbed any potential move to Manchester, saying, “I want to stay in London. I am very happy here and so are my family.” He also stated that, “Chelsea are a big club with an ambitious owner,” inferring a move to Stamford Bridge is imminent.
This comes after Spurs boss, Harry Redknapp laughed off Chelsea’s “ridiculous” 22 million pound bid for Modric and after Tottenham’s Chairman, Daniel Levy said he is “not prepared to sell [Luka Modric] at any price.” Much to the anger of Daniel Levy, Chelsea appear to have prepared an improved bid of 25 million pounds, but Levy is adamant that Modric is not for sale.
It now appears that if any transfer goes through for Modric, it will be in favour of Chelsea, although whether the player will push the move through hangs in the balance and could be resolved within the coming days. The situation is becoming increasingly acrimonious as Levy is now prepared to report Chelsea for ‘tapping up’ Modric, meaning the matter may be pushed forward or could equally become lengthy and problematic. But through the affray, one thing seems fairly clear; Modric isn’t coming to Old Trafford.
So what does this mean for Manchester United?
Well, the search for Paul Scholes’s replacement goes on. A glance at the gossip column tells us that our next (and if you ask me) more favourable candidate is Internazionale’s Wesley Sneijder. As well as having great technical ability, he’s more than adept in dead ball situations, which fills a void that’s been left since the Cristiano Ronaldo era. The instability that Inter are currently experiencing could push the deal through too, as they seek a fourth manager in the space of a year, following the departure of former AC Milan man, Leonardo Araújo.
Many would argue that Sneijder would be a better signing than Modric as well, and after all of Chelsea’s efforts to sign the Croatian, they could be slapped with a point deduction and fine for their trouble, handing United an early an unexpected boost in the defence of their status as champions of England.
Even if the proposed bid for Sneijder falls through, the answer to United’s problem could lie closer to home as Tom Cleverley aims to stake his claim to a starting spot by hitting the ground running in United’s pre-season tour of the USA. Cleverley impressed across the pond in United’s last pre-season tour and capped a couple of goals, including a sublime effort against the MLS All-Stars, flicking the ball over Chicago Fire’s Wilman Conde in the box, before finishing deftly past Salt Lake’s ‘keeper, Nick Rimando.
The 21 year old who helped keep Wigan in the Premiership last season wants to move up a gear and compete for the champions of England. Cleverley even has his eye on plugging the gap that Scholes has left, saying,
“He [Paul Scholes] has been a great player for the club and I know I have a lot of hard work to do before I get on his level, but if I can fill a bit of a hole he’s left then that would be brilliant.”
And it appears that Fergie is willing to let him have his chance too, starting in the upcoming pre-season, where an interesting clash with Barcelona is on the cards at FedExField, Washington DC on Saturday, 30th of July.
Now that’s a big opportunity for both Cleverley and United to show us that there is life after the ginger maestro.
Piece courtesy of Ben Hyman