Luka Modric wants Real Madrid to stay as speculation continues over Jude Bellingham transfer | football news

Luka Modric wants Real Madrid to stay as speculation continues over Jude Bellingham transfer | football news

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Luka Modric wants to stay at Real Madrid and says his future won’t depend on signings amid interest in Jude Bellingham.

Modric, who has won five Champions League trophies and three Spanish league titles since joining Real from Tottenham 11 years ago, signed a one-year deal with the Spanish champions at the end of last season.

The 37-year-old central midfielder has yet to hold talks with Real about extending his stay but remains calm about his future, saying he will give his maximum for the remainder of the season to convince club decision-makers.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring

Image: Modric has enjoyed great success at Real since joining from Tottenham

“I want to deserve to stay here, not just as a freebee,” said Modric ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg in Liverpool.

“No one has given me anything for free in my career and I don’t want that to happen now either. If the club think I deserve a contract then I would be happy to stay, but only on merit. Not just based on what I have done here or my past or the story of what I have achieved.

“We don’t have these talks mid-season. I’m very relaxed there.

“This is the club of my life and whatever happens between now and the end of the season, nobody can take that away from him or destroy that feeling and ruin that relationship.”

How will Bellingham’s chase affect Modric’s future?

Jude Bellingham could be on his way to Liverpool

Image: Jude Bellingham is a wanted man this summer

Modric has been a key wheel in Real’s most prolific midfield this century along with Casemiro and Toni Kroos, but the Spanish giants have already begun to prepare for life beyond the iconic trio.

Casemiro, 30, was sold to Manchester United for £70million in the summer and was replaced by Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, 23, for around £71million. They had signed another young French midfielder from Rennes a year earlier in Eduardo Camavinga, 20, for £34.4million.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric, right, Real Madrid's Casemiro, centre, and Real Madrid's Toni Kroos pose for a photo with the trophy after winning the Champions League soccer final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, Sunday, May 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Image: Real Madrid are trying to forge a succession plan for their midfield trio

Now Real have turned their attention to possible replacements for Modric and Kroos, both of whom are out of contract at the end of this season. Unlike Modric, Kroos is less sure of his plans and is considering resigning.

England and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham is at the top of Real’s wish list for a replacement.

Spanish publication Marca have reported that Modric will only be offered a new contract if Kroos decides to leave the club or Bellingham is not signed.

Asked if signings will influence Real’s decision to offer him a new deal, Modric added: “I think my case is separate from that, I don’t think it really has anything to do with it.”

Liverpool favorite signs Bellingham

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In a special edition of The Transfer Show on European football, Florian Plettenberg discusses where Jude Bellingham could end up if he leaves Borussia Dortmund, with Liverpool reportedly keen on signing the England international.

Bellingham is the most desirable teenager in world football and Sky in Germany understands Liverpool are ahead of Real for his signature as manager Jurgen Klopp is “strongly pushing for a deal”.

Dortmund will want up to £130m for Bellingham, who has no release clause in his contract.

Reports in Spain suggest Real Madrid are ready to shell out more than £100m to sign Bellingham, having slashed spending in recent transfer windows to balance their finances.

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