Tottenham's Modric To Real Madrid? Here's Three Midfielders Going The Other Way

With speculation linking Luka Modric to Real Madrid increasing, it is likely that Khedira, Sahin and Diarra could be looking for work elsewhere next season. Here’s who they could join.
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With speculation linking Luka Modric to Real Madrid increasing, it is likely that Khedira, Sahin and Diarra could be looking for work elsewhere next season. Here’s who they could join.

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Tottenham's Modric To Real Madrid? Here's Three Midfielders Going The Other Way

Ever since Didier Drogba netted that penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final last month, rumours have been circulating surrounding the future of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric. The diminutive schemer was in scintillating form for his native Croatia throughout the European Championship, irregardless of their early exit from the competition.

Modric has regularly been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane over the past 12 months, with Chelsea last summer trying their hardest to take him to Stamford Bridge. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy issued a statement of intent to keep hold of their prized asset, insisting that he isn’t for sale. The Blues launched three bids of £22m, £25m and £40, respectively, to snare their top target, but failed to land the midfielder.

However, with the best players keen to ply their trade in Europe’s elite competition, it is understandable that, following Chelsea’s final win over the Bavarian giants, he is keen to leave Spurs. Chances are high that the North London giants won’t be able to keep hold of the deep-lying playmaker and with Real Madrid reportedly keen on taking Modric to Spain, this summer may be the time that Spurs fail to keep hold of their midfielder.

It is more than likely that Mourinho will pair the midfielder alongside Xabi Alonso, rendering a number of the current first-team useless.

Yet, it is hard to see where Modric will fit in at Los Blancos, with head coach Jose Mourinho preferring to utilise a 4-2-3-1. At Spurs, under former manager Harry Redknapp, the 26-year-old was deployed in a midfield pairing with either Scott Parker or Sandro, depending on injuries and suspensions. With Rafael van der Vaart playing further forward, his creative influence was often at its peak when the midfielder picked up the ball from the deep, often launching an attacking opportunity rather finishing off the move.

His poor assist and striking return, five goals and six assists in 40 games last season for Spurs, further reinforces this. With that in mind, it is more than likely that Mourinho will pair the midfielder alongside Xabi Alonso behind the four front-men, rendering a number of the current first-team useless.

Sami Khedira

The Germany international has enjoyed a successful European Championships for the national side, netting a superb volley during the 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece at the weekend. Much like at Madrid, Khedira is preferred alongside the deep-lying playmaker, in this case, Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The burly midfielder could be used as a makeweight in any Modric offer

However, many perceive the 25-year-old to be too immobile for Mourinho’s fluid 4-2-3-1, with the Portuguese tactician, at times, calling on compatriot Fabio Coentrao to fit in alongside Alonso in the midfield. Irregardless, Khedira still made 42 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga champions and is evidently still in Mourinho’s plans. Whether he will be in the starting XI should Modric arrive, that is yet to be determined.

Having arrived when Mourinho did in 2010 from VfB Stuttgart, and still playing a pivotal role for the club, it is unlikely that the club will sell unless they receive a substantial offer from a club abroad. Incidentally, the burly midfielder could be used as a makeweight in any Modric offer, should Spurs be holding out for anything close to the £40m Chelsea offered for the Croatian last summer. Manchester United could also be another to declare their interest in Khedira as they look to strengthen their midfield further following the arrival of Shinji Kagawa.

Nuri Sahin

Sahin arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu last year with high hopes of taking his career forward following 10 years with Borussia Dortmund, including a year-long stint with Feyenoord for the 2007/08 campaign. Yet, injuries and a lack of confidence have hampered his impact in Spain and rather than progressing, the Germany-born Turkey midfielder’s progress appears to have taken a backward step.

A lack of confidence and a loss of form meant he failed to break into the starting XI when given the chance

The 23-year-old played just 10 times in all competitions for Real last season, starting just two of his four La Liga appearances. A far cry from the midfielder who had played 152 times for Dortmund and Feyenoord following his debut for the recently crowned Bundesliga champions back in 2005 up to his final year at the Westfalenstadion. Many had anticipated Sahin to fit in seamlessly alongside Alonso in the midfield upon his arrival, with his the youngster complementing his Spanish counterpart superbly.

However, a lack of confidence and a loss of form meant he failed to break into the starting XI when given the chance and more often than not, found himself sidelined with numerous injury problems. Like Khedira, the ball-playing midfielder has been linked with a switch to White Hart Lane in any possible Modric deal and with his impact minimal, at most, many wouldn’t be surprised if Real were to listen to offers for Sahin or allow him to leave in order to secure to Croatian, with a return to Germany, and in particular Dortmund as a replacement for Kagawa, also mooted.

Lassana Diarra

Lass arrived from Portsmouth in January 2009 after a successful 12 months at Fratton Park. The tough tackling midfielder Real had been crying out for since the departure of Claude Makélelé in 2003, the Frenchman was expected to play a pivotal role for the La Liga champions and in his first two-and-a-half years at the Bernabeu, did just that, making 90 appearances for Los Merengues.

A place under Carlo Ancelotti at the Parc des Princess, and a return to France, could be on the cards

This season, following the summer arrivals of Sahin and Hamit Altintop, Diarra saw his impact limited substantially, with Mourinho again deploying Coentrao in the midfield role alongside Alonso, his attacking impact and speed an asset in the former Chelsea and Inter Milan head coach’s game-plan. Brought in to break-up play, it was hardly surprising to his playing time limited once Khedira arrived in 2010, before the German began to establish himself as a first-team starter leaving Diarra on the cusp of the starting XI.

The 27-year-old has regularly been linked with a move back to England since his arrival in the Spanish capital and reportedly came close to securing a move to Spurs last summer, whilst AS Roma were also thought to be interested in the midfielder. However, like Khedira, Diarra would also be suited for a move to Manchester United. Nevertheless, with Paris St. Germain looking to spend big again during the transfer window, a place under Carlo Ancelotti at the Parc des Princess, and a return to France, could be on the cards for the former Chelsea and Arsenal star.

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