According to Croatian newspaper Vercernji List, Luka Modric wrote in his book that he was close to joining for the Blues and was in tears after no agreement materialised. As cited by 90min, Modric recorded:
“During the winter break [of the 2007/2008 season], which I spent in Zadar, I got information that Dinamo and?Chelsea were practically in agreement. Zdravko Mamic [Dinamo’s executive director] flew to London and was convinced that I would be moving to Stamford Bridge in the winter transfer window.”
“While I was waiting for a sign with [my wife] Vanja in Zadar, rumours began to emerge that the clubs had failed to agree on the terms of the contract and that the transfer had failed. After telling the parents the end of the story [of the transfer break down], I left their apartment and in the parking lot in front of the building, while talking to Vanja about it, I broke down. I couldn’t hold back my tears.”
Modric may not have joined for Chelsea, but he finally signed a London club in 2008, Tottenham Hotspur. The Croatian international went on to make 160 matches for the club, netting 17 goals and providing 27 assists. Following his time at Spurs, Modric signed Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals and 49 assists in 311 appearances across all competitions.
The 34-year-old has featured in eight games for Los Blancos this term so far, netting a goal and providing two assists. It will be interesting to see if Croatia international starts in this weekend’s La Liga fixture against Eibar. Real Madrid have a chance of going to the top of the league table if they win.