Newcastle considering swoop for Ballon d’Or winner but face stiff competition from Italian giants

Ben Stewart
Luca Modric, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, Real Madrid in Champions League action v PSG at Bernabeu Stadium

Newcastle have been going well in the Premier League under Eddie Howe and they are keen on further bolstering their squad with world-class talent.

Howe’s side are fourth in the table and are in pole position for a Champions League spot this season. If they do secure European football, their recruitment is expected to take another step forward.

According to El Nacional, Luka Modric has two offers to leave Real Madrid when his contract is up in the summer. Both Newcastle and Inter Milan have been reported as interested.

Modric could yet sign a new contract extension with Los Blancos, although he would be expected to take a salary reduction and his game time can no longer be guaranteed.

Real Madrid are said to be very keen on signing Jude Bellingham in the summer as they continue to rejuvenate their midfield.

Modric is still operating at a world-class level and is still regarded as one of Europe’s best midfielders. Indeed, his World Cup campaign with Croatia highlighted just how competitive he still is.

The 37-year-old has won 21 trophies whilst in Spain, including five Champions League titles. He played a vital role in their most recent Champions League triumph and would be sorely missed if he did leave.

Inter Milan would be able to provide a tempting offer for Modric as they were recently crowned Supercoppa Italiana champions.

Newcastle have tried to sign Modric before

Prior to his move to Tottenham in 2008, Newcastle were considering signing him from Dinamo Zagreb. The club ultimately gave up on the deal and paved the way for Spurs to swoop in.

Modric himself told Four Four Two magazine: “I heard a few rumours at the time that Newcastle were thinking about taking me there, like many other teams, but I don’t remember anything in particular.

“People were speaking about it and I think Kevin Keegan once gave an interview on the subject. I heard that.

“At the time, though, no one told me directly that Newcastle wanted to sign me. There were some other teams that the people who took care of me were telling me about, but they didn’t mention Newcastle.

“People were telling me this and that, but I don’t know how close I really was to something.

“In the end I signed for Tottenham, and for me it was a great step forward. I went to a big club and it was a very good team for me – that showed from the steps I took during my time there.”

Real Madrid have been sniffing around a Newcastle midfielder themselves, with links to Bruno Guimaraes. Despite their reported interest, it seems as if Guimaraes has his full focus on Newcastle.

Transfer expect Graeme Bailey claimed: “Another reward for his progress will be a new contract which we can expect in the coming months. He’s become one of the Premier League’s best midfielders and Newcastle recognise that.

“Newcastle are going to get the January window out of the way but then we can fully expect Bruno to be rewarded.”

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