COMMENTARY | Outside of some gimmicky posts on social networking websites and Tottenham Hotspur fan forums, I never really hit out at Luka Modric for leaving Spurs for Real Madrid last summer. After all, the Spanish Giants could give Modric three things that Tottenham couldn't: Higher wages, Champions League football, and the opportunity to play alongside one of the two best footballers in the world. Now that the former Tottenham midfielder is going out of the way to make sure that the club loses it's most creative play-maker for the second consecutive offseason, however, it's personal.
Those Gareth Bale to Real Madrid rumors that have been circulating for over a year are likely to only heat up as July 1 approaches. Modric touched upon that matter while speaking with Spanish publication Marca on Friday, saying the following:
"It's a complicated issue for me because I was with Tottenham. I can tell you we're friends and he is an exceptional player. I guarantee it. And whether the club is Real Madrid, Tottenham or another, they can only win if they sign a player like that. Whether he will be signed or not is a matter for the clubs. If it is Real Madrid, better for us."
Modric went on: "Since Madrid is the 'galácticos' team, Bale would fit perfectly, he would be really good for us. He would give the team another dimension. His shot, his strength, his speed, his offensive power... he's the type of player who would help us take a step forward."
Bale's reported transfer fee that began as being predictable and realistic has risen to astronomical "you've got to be kidding me" levels in the past month alone. A figure of £46.5m and possibly a Real Madrid player involved in a swap is now believed to be somewhere in the £85-100m range. Real president Florentino Perez recently hinted that price would not be an issue for his club in securing the Welsh wonder from Spurs.
Modric's move to Real Madrid was more nightmare than dream last fall, as he was routinely relegated to second half duty or left off the pitch, entirely. The Croatian star eventually broke through into the first team, however, and he finished the season having made over 50 total appearances (36 starts) for his club across all competitions. Eleven of those (six starts) were Champions League matches.
It's almost a guarantee that Bale would immediately become a Real lineup mainstay were he to join the club this summer, if for no other reason than the amount of money the Spanish outfit would have to handover to Spurs in order to buy England's unanimous Player of the Year. Spurs reportedly received £33m for Modric last August, a value that could be less than half of what the club fetches for Bale this summer if chairman Daniel Levy decides that it is best to sell high. Bale's current contract with Tottenham runs through the completion of the 2015-16 campaign.
Neither Levy nor Bale have publicly said anything of note about this matter during this offseason, and the player has recently been enjoying some off-time in Florida. Thus, it's only those in Spain who are right now doing the talking. Modric made his position very clear in the past week. He is, despite any rumors that would suggest otherwise, committed to staying at Real Madrid and also to convincing his former teammate to join him.
Modric leaving Spurs for Real Madrid a year ago was like your high school sweetheart leaving you for the captain of the football team who also happened to have rich parents. Modric's latest comments are equal to that same ex-girlfriend trying to get your best buddy to join her circle of friends that also happens to include her new beau. Professional sport is big business, of course, but I can't help but ask Luka:
Haven't you done enough?
Zac has been covering Tottenham Hotspur, USMNT, Holland, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Gareth Bale
- Luka Modric