Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric has revealed that Jose Mourinho played a key part in taking him away from North London.
The Croatian international completed a move to Real Madrid in 2012 fee in the region of £30million (BBC) and has since gone on to win multiple trophies including the Champions League on four occasions and the Ballon D’or in 2018 (transfermarkt).
Modric admitted that Mourinho, who was in charge of the Spanish giants at the time had to step in to make the deal happen.
The Spurs midfielder made his intentions to leave the club clear when he failed to attend the pre-season tour of the USA in 2012 and was fined two week’s wages (Guardian).
He also submitted a transfer request the summer before in an unsuccessful attempt to force a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Modric claimed that chairman Daniel Levy was not making it easy for him to leave in what he described as torture.
He said in his new book, Luka Modric – My Autobiography (as quoted by the Evening Standard): “Those negotiations were tough,”
“Throughout my career, I had always been nothing but professional. But now, this seemed to be the only way to make Levy keep his promise.
“Whenever I reminded him, ‘Chairman, what about your promise?’, he would reply, ‘We’ll talk.’ Then he would always find an excuse to avoid the topic.
“My representatives kept me informed about everything. As did Jose Mourinho. Levy was driving them crazy: it seemed that every time they reached an agreement, he asked for something else.
“I was under a lot of stress, so were (wife) Vanja and the rest of my family. Twice my representatives called me, ‘Finally, we’ve agreed on everything, you’re flying to Madrid.’ And when, all happy, I would head for the airport, new information would arrive, ‘We have to put it off, there’s a new development’.
“The second time that happened, I was on the edge. Falling apart. Tortured by the lack of progress, I remember asking Vanja, ‘How can Levy be so unfair?’.
“Vanja and I concluded that the torture would continue for a while.
“During this long period of negotiating, going back and forth, there were several times I got scared that Real might withdraw.
“The very idea made me nervous. Mourinho played a vital role; he was determined to bring me to Real, insisting on the transfer even when the Real officials lost their patience with Levy.
“Mourinho himself called the Tottenham chairman and tried to persuade him to accept the offer, ‘otherwise Real could back out of it.”‘
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