Predrag Mijatovic Says 'Committed' Luka Modric 'Will Continue' at Real Madrid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2019

, SPAIN - APRIL 28: Luka Modric of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid on April 28, 2019 (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid player Predrag Mijatovic said Luka Modric is "committed" to the club and "will continue" there beyond the summer.

Mijatovic, who spent three years at the Santiago Bernabeu as a player between 1996 and 1999 and later served as director of football from 2006 to 2009, spoke after Los Blancos' 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

He told Cadena Ser's El Larguero (h/t Goal's Sacha Pisani):

"He will continue. I have spoken with him and it was one of the worst games he has played. 

"He is a committed chap and the problem won't be Modric. It won't be easy to recover what he had with the players that are going to arrive.

"The market has changed. All of the club know they need to sign and the prices increase. He's a professional and he is happy. He suffers like everyone."

Real are expected to have an overhaul this summer after a poor season. The club were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the last 16 by Ajax and have accrued just 65 points in La Liga, in which they're set to finish third behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Few players have been up to par this season, but it has been an especially disappointing campaign from 2018 Ballon d'Or winner Modric.

Real's defeat to Rayo, who started the match bottom of the table, was their 10th in La Liga this season.

Robbie Dunne @robbiejdunne

Luka Modric became the first reigning Ballon d'Or winner to lose a game in Vallecas last night. Predrag Mijatović lost in 1997 but he only finished second that year.

Football writer Graham Ruthven and The Spanish Football Podcast singled out Modric for criticism:

Graham Ruthven @grahamruthven

Luka Modric, the incumbent holder of the Ballon d'Or, has been the worst player on the pitch in a game against Rayo Vallecano.

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Madrid giving the ball away so much...and Rayo running through a massive big hole. Modric especially. (SEVEN ball losses from him already).

Given the Croatian will be 34 in September, his drop-off in form could be a sign that his time at the top level is coming to an end.

His contract expires in June 2020 too, so letting him go this summer to help fund and clear space for a rebuild could be a shrewd move.

It wouldn't be a disaster if he left for free next year, given his age, but unless his performances pick up significantly, it seems he can't be relied upon as a key player anymore.