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Luka Modric 'to leave Real Madrid for Saudi Arabia next summer'

Luka Modric 'to leave Real Madrid for Saudi Arabia next summer'
© Reuters
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric reportedly decides to leave the Bernabeu for the Saudi Pro League when his contract expires at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has reportedly decided to leave the Spanish giants to join the lucrative Saudi Pro League in 2024.

The 38-year-old extended his Blancos deal until the end of the 2023-24 season over the summer, having continued to shine for Carlo Ancelotti's side despite his advancing years.

However, Modric has fallen down the midfield pecking order at the Bernabeu in the current campaign, having faced increased competition from England hotshot Jude Bellingham.

The 20-year-old has operated at the tip of the Blancos midfield this term, with Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga often joining forces in a triumvirate behind him.

As a result, Modric and fellow veteran Toni Kroos have often been consigned to the bench, and while the former has made 15 appearances this season - contributing one assist - he only has six starts to his name.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Toni Kroos celebrate after the match on September 18, 2022© Reuters

With Tchouameni nursing a fractured foot and Camavinga out for the long-term with a torn knee ligament, Modric will be expected to earn more starts approaching the festive period, but he is no longer Ancelotti's favoured option in the centre of the park.

Modric's agent recently refused to rule out a January exit for the Croatia international, who will be free to enter pre-contract talks with foreign clubs when the winter transfer window rolls around, by which point he will be in the final six months of his deal.

A return to Dinamo Zagreb has been mooted, as the president of the Croatian club's board - Vlatka Peras - has confirmed that his side will try to bring Modric back to the club he represented between 2001 and 2008.

However, Sport claims that the ex-Tottenham Hotspur man instead has his eyes on joining the Saudi Pro League revolution and will end his glittering 12-year stint at Real Madrid when his contract expires in 2024.

An unnamed Middle Eastern club reportedly tried to seduce Modric with a mammoth three-year deal worth €120m (£105m) a year, but the midfielder turned down the approach, as he felt that he still had unfinished business at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric in action with FC Barcelona's Sergio Busquets on April 5, 2023© Reuters

Modric's lack of starts this term have led him to reassess the situation, though, and the former Ballon d'Or winner believes that the Saudi Pro League opportunity is too good to turn down.

The injuries to Tchouameni and Camavinga means that a January exit is off the cards, as confirmed by Real's director Jose Angel Sanchez at the recent La Liga general assembly, saying: "We have no open negotiations with the Saudi Arabian League for a possible departure in January nor any intention to sell him at this time."

Instead, the report states that Modric and Real will bid a fond farewell when the season draws to a close, although it is unclear which Saudi Pro League club are leading the race to sign him.

Since joining Real Madrid from Tottenham for €35m (£30.7m) in 2012, Modric has represented Los Blancos on 503 occasions, scoring 37 goals and providing 78 assists in the process.

The 38-year-old has won 23 major honours during his time in the famous white strip, including five Champions League titles, as well as collecting the 2018 Ballon d'Or and UEFA Best Player in Europe award.

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Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on July 23, 2023
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