Rio Ferdinand reveals Manchester United nearly signed Luka Modric | Football
Rio Ferdinand has revealed he almost convinced Luka Modric to join Manchester United instead of Real Madrid but the Red Devils hierarchy had already agreed a deal with another player.
The Croatian superstar left Tottenham for the Bernabeu just over a decade ago in the summer of 2012 and has enjoyed a glittering career that has included five Champions League titles and the Ballon d’Or.
But things could have turned out very differently as Modric was keen to stay in the Premier League – although Spurs have always preferred selling him abroad.
Now former United defender Ferdinand has revealed he tried to lure the midfield maestro to Old Trafford, but the deal fell through after Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sign Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund instead.
Speaking of Modric on his YouTube show FIVE, Ferdinand said: “I spoke to him before he went to Real Madrid because I used to do that, I was the player’s agent, I was Agent Rio before I retired.
“Every player that was available or showed up, I used to think I could get into him somehow.
“Even Thiago Alcantara at Liverpool, I spoke to him before he left Barcelona to go to Bayern Munich and that almost happened but we signed [Marouane] Fellaini instead.
“But Modric, I remember talking to him, I said, ‘Are you going? [Tottenham]?” and he said, “Yes, I think I’ll go,” but he wasn’t sure where he was going at the time.
“I said, ‘Listen, you have to come to United, man,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, listen, I want to be the first Croatian to play for Man United, I want to be that guy, can we do it it happens?”
“But it didn’t happen. I spoke to David Gil and the manager [Sir Alex] had already agreed with Shinji Kagawa back then, I think it was – I think that was the year, I’m sure it was that.
“Or they already had irons in the fire with another player and they made this deal and then Modric went to Madrid and the rest is history.
“But I never thought he would do what he did. What a player!’
At the end of the 2011/12 season, a £17m deal was negotiated for Kagawa to join United and the transfer was announced in early June.
Modric had to wait until the end of August to secure his £30m move to Real Madrid and while the Croatian has enjoyed great success at his new club, Kagawa only lasted two seasons at United – just six times – before joining Borussia Dortmund returned.
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