David Moyes is ready to switch his transfer focus from Cesc Fabregas to Luka Modric as he attempts to lure a big-name playmaker to Manchester United, writes Matt Hughes in the The Times of London (subscription).
Moyes has been frustrated in his pursuit of Fabregas, for whom two offers have been rejected by Barcelona as the Spanish champions begin life under new boss Gerardo Martino.
Under former Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, Modric failed to establish himself as a first-team regular during his first season in Spain, even stepping off the bench to inspire Real to victory against United in the last-16 stage of the Champions League.
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However, the Daily Mail anticipates more summer irritation for Moyes, with John Edwards reporting that Madrid will retain the services of their £33 million man to aid their own pursuit of Gareth Bale.
The Spanish giants continue to hunt down Tottenham star Bale, who used to play with Modric at White Hart Lane and recently held showdown talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Officials at the Bernabeu believe the relationship between Modric and Bale, both on and off the pitch, could be key to smoothing out the proposed £95 million transfer, as revealed by Edwards:
As Bernabeu bosses continue their onerous task of trying to find some common ground with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over a fee for Bale, they are beginning to think ahead and devise ways of ensuring the quietly-spoken forward hits the ground running as a Real player.
Mindful of the intense media scrutiny he would have to contend with, in foreign surroundings, they feel the presence of a familiar, friendly face, such as his former Tottenham team-mate, would increase the chances of a successful transition.
However, Spanish daily Marca claims money will be the deciding factor in the Bale transfer, with Levy determined to halt a trend that has seen Madrid attempt to raid Spurs twice in as many years.
Levy will reportedly demand £125 million for Bale in order to show the Spaniards that Tottenham are not their feeder club.