Times scribes Matt Hughes and James Ducker claim United are planning to test Real’s resolve with a £25 million bid for the Croatia international.
Hughes and Ducker write:
United began the summer with genuine aspirations of marking the start of the David Moyes era at Old Trafford with a stellar signing such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Cesc Fabregas, but despite making several enquiries the club have been frustrated on all three fronts and forced to look elsewhere.
As a result the club’s plans have altered, with Modric now viewed as a leading target as Moyes seeks a player capable of adding some creativity and sparkle to United’s midfield.
The assertion is Modric is a step down in class when compared to Ronaldo, Bale or Fabregas. That is probably a fair assessment with regard to Ronaldo and Bale, but, then again, they are totally different players. They are all power and pace, while Modric is craft and guile.
Who would be a better fit at United?
Barcelona midfielder Fabregas is cut from a similar cloth to Modric, a forward-thinking midfielder capable of crafting as well as scoring goals.
Modric scored three goals in 25 starts in Spain’s Primera Liga last term, according to Real Madrid’s website, while he contributed the same number of assists. Those are not amazing figures, but his team contained the creative forces of Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria.
Should he end up at Old Trafford, Modric would be the key creative cog in Moyes’ midfield engine. And it is unfair to say he is not of the calibre expected of a United player, as no less a talent than Scholes was talking up the Croatian in 2011.
At a time when Modric was being linked with United, Scholes said, via SkySports.com, "The three linked the most with United are all great top players. Of the three Modric, when we've played against him, has been the one I have been most impressed with. Whenever we played Tottenham, he was the one who stood out."
In the two years since Scholes spoke so positively about Modric, Tottenham fought successfully to keep him for one more season before selling him to Real in 2012.
His stock may have dipped after failing to take the Bernabeu by storm, but Manchester United fans will not have forgotten the stunning goal he scored after climbing off the bench when the two sides met in the second round of the Champions League in March.
Modric is not Scholes and should not be tagged as the next Scholes, but the Croatian could flourish at Old Trafford, and he would be a welcome addition to Moyes’ squad.
Whether Moyes can prise him away from Real is another matter. The Daily Mail’s John Edwards claims the Spaniards want to keep hold of Modric and use him as a "minder" for their top target, Gareth Bale.