Luka Modric has been one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever midfielders. Having joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, he has amassed over 400 appearances and 21 trophies during his spell in the famous white jersey.
Modric has also amassed the highest individual honour during his time in the Spanish capital, having won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 for his performances for Real Madrid and Croatia across the calendar year.
In short, Modric has been one of the greatest modern day midfielders in football history. He is someone who has got better with age, but now aged 37, he is coming towards the twilight of his career.
Modric has had a difficult start to 2023, and he was dropped by head coach Carlo Ancelotti for Sunday’s victory against Athletic Club. His drop in form could be down to his age, but he suffered a similar lapse in 2018 following his World Cup exploits in Russia, so another instance of that could be apparent this time around.
Los Blancos will have to adapt to life without Modric eventually, but it could be sooner than expected. The club want the Croatian to renew his current, which expires in the summer, but Modric reportedly has doubts. He has been linked with a reunion in the Middle East with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Report from Todofichajes on Wednesday have revealed that Inter Miami are lining up a move for Modric. The MLS side have also been rumoured with signing Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets, who is likely to leave Catalonia in the summer.
Is now the time for Real Madrid to move Modric on? With the club heavily interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Modric’s game time may be reduced from next season onwards. Younger players such as Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga will need regular playing time to develop, and Modric may need to take a step back.
Even if he is no longer starting often, his experience around the dressing room would be invaluable, especially if Bellingham does join. However, his wages are far too high for a squad player, and it may not make financial sense to keep him around.
At 37, he is unlikely to get better, despite his determination not waning. Real Madrid may decide to prioritise the younger members of the squad, and use Modric’s contract expiring as an excuse to move him on. Camavinga, Tchouameni and (potentially) Bellingham are the future of Real Madrid, whereas Modric’s best days are probably behind him.
Irrespective of what happens between now and the end of his career at the club, Luka Modric has been a legend for Real Madrid. It’s probably fair that the club lets him go out on his own terms, but his time in the Spanish capital may be up.