Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he tried to convince Luka Modric to join Manchester United prior to his move to Real Madrid, and that the Croat was open to making the switch.

Modric is now widely recognised as an all-time great, given the career he has had at Real Madrid and the performances he has delivered for Croatia in so many major tournaments.

Manchester United

(Photo by Visionhaus)

It was at Spurs that the midfielder first rose to notoriety, arriving as a highly-rated young talent from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 before evolving into one of the best players in the Premier League over the next four years.

A year before he swapped Tottenham for Real Madrid, Modric wanted to join Chelsea but Daniel Levy blocked the transfer (Evening Standard).

Ferdinand has now explained that the 37-year-old was also open to a switch to Old Trafford, revealing that United missed out on the deal because they had another player lined up at the time.

He said on his YouTube Channel Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE: “I spoke to him (Modric) before he went to Real Madrid. I used to think that I could sign any player that was available.

“I spoke to Modric and I told him: ‘Are you leaving Tottenham?’ And he replied: ‘Yes, I think I’m going’. But at that moment I wasn’t sure where I was going.

“I told him: ‘You have to come to United man,’ and he said: ‘Yeah, I want to be the first Croatian to play for Manchester United, can we make it happen?'”

“I think United already had something in hand with another player and they closed the deal and then Modric went to Madrid, and the rest is history.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Modric’s achievements at Real Madrid will not have surprised anyone who watched him in action at Spurs. However, what is mindboggling is the longevity that he has had.

To play at the level he is at 37 years of age, is next to impossible, particularly given the demands of the central midfield role. It does not seem like he is going to stop anytime soon.

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