Reports: Manchester United begin talks to sign Real Madrid midfielder
What's the story?
Manchester United have struggled to score goals in recent matches, and their midfield has failed to act as a cohesive unit in the absence of the injured Paul Pogba. Jose Mourinho will look to strengthen his midfield in the upcoming transfer window, and the United manager is currently rumoured to be exploring several options.
One of the options available to Mourinho is Madrid's midfield maestro Luka Modric, and according to The Express, Manchester United are just one of three clubs that have already approached the Croatian.
In case you didn't know...
Modric began his professional career at Dinamo Zagreb, where he won the Croatian First League in three consecutive seasons. The midfielder scored 32 goals in 128 appearances for Zagreb, and his performances attracted the attention of several top European clubs. In 2008, amidst interest from Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea, Modric signed for Tottenham Hotspur for £16.5 million.
The Croatian put in several good performances for Tottenham in the following seasons, but the club were unable to achieve any form of domestic or European success. Modric was extensively courted by Chelsea in 2011, but transfer offers from the Blues were repeatedly blocked by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. This caused a rift between Modric and the club, and when the opportunity to leave came around again, he left for Spain.
Modric joined Madrid in August of 2012, and just two days after arriving at the club, won the Supercopa de Espana, his first major trophy with Real Madrid. Trophies came by fairly regularly for the Croatian after that, with the midfielder winning three Champions League titles, one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey in his five years at the club.
The heart of the matter
Real Madrid have started the season poorly, and are currently in third place in the La Liga table. The Spanish champions are notoriously impatient as a club, and Zinedine Zidane may need to act quickly to ensure his job security. Modric will probably command a considerable transfer fee if he moves to Manchester United, and that money could be used to reinforce the squad.
Modric is reportedly unsure of his future at Madrid, and has asked Zidane for guarantees that he is part of the manager's long-term plans. Should the 32-year-old be told that he is not a part of Zidane's plans, he could look for a club where he is more likely to play regularly.
Manchester United will face competition from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus for Modric. Mourinho might just swing the odds in United's favour, as it was the Portuguese manager who brought Modric to Real Madrid five years ago.
Modric is fast approaching the twilight of his career, and at 32, is running out of time to bag another major contract. The Madrid star may want to move on to a club where he will get more playing time, and he could strike up a formidable partnership with Paul Pogba in the United midfield. If United can get him at a decent price, he might just return to the Premier League.