Saudi Arabia football chiefs 'have been chasing Modric signing'

Luka Modric ‘is the next target for Saudi Arabian football – and could even link up with ex-Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr’

  • Reported bid to lure Luka Modric follows Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr
  • Saudi Arabia football chiefs reportedly jetted into Madrid to hold discussions 
  • Al-Nassr hope to become the ‘Real Madrid’ of the Arab world, it is reported 
  • Modric, 37, is said to remain unmoved by the lucrative offers at present   
  • Moves for elite players follow their planned World Cup bid and Newcastle buy

Luka Modric is reportedly one of the next names Saudi Arabian football chiefs are chasing in their bid to make the country one of the epicentres of the global game.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr on an eye-watering £175m-per-year was confirmed last week with the country’s football chiefs hailing a new era for the sport in the country. 

The ambitious – and ultimately successful – move to land Ronaldo after his acrimonious exit from Manchester United follows their plans to bid for the 2030 World Cup in a joint-bid with Greece and Egypt and the purchase of Newcastle United in 2021. 

Luka Modric is reportedly being chased by Saudi Arabia and Al-Nassr chiefs over a move

According to Marca, the 37-year-old Modric is the next player being targeted by the country – though it is said his ambitions, for now, remain in the Spanish capital. 

Al-Nassr, it is said, want to become the ‘Real Madrid’ of the Arab world and are reportedly targeting Sergio Ramos for this summer. Modric, they hope, would follow him next year.    

Modric enjoyed another stunning World Cup tournament and having been influential in Real Madrid’s fifth Champions League victory in the last eight years last summer, he feels he still has something to offer the elite game.

The Croatian committed his future at Real Madrid until next summer and is said to want to remain even longer

Modric, 37, put in a series of timeless performances at the World Cup as Croatia finished third

The Croatian signed a year-long extension with Real Madrid last summer shortly after the triumph in Paris over Liverpool.

The Madrid-centric Spanish publication say there will not be an issue trying to extend his contract by a year more.

Indeed, they suggest that it would only take ‘one look’.

The move for players to join their league comes in the context of their hope to win the World Cup in 2030. Qatar did the same with the likes of Xavi Hernandez spending the last days of their career in the country. Tim Cahill is also the director of Qatar’s centre of excellence. 

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchased Newcastle United in October 2021

Knowing they have the World Cup in 2026, however, the United States are seemingly able to make more concrete decisions over pre-tournament preparations.

The same report claims that Modric also has offers from the MLS. Though, like Lionel Messi – who has reportedly agreed to remain with Paris Saint-Germain beyond this year – he feels he still has time left at the top of the game. 

Ronaldo, meanwhile, could make his Al-Nassr debut as soon as this week. 

Cristiano Ronaldo could make his debut for new club Al Nassr against Al Ta’ee on Thursday

Supporters have been posing with the shirt which Ronaldo will wear when he plays for the club

Although no date has yet been agreed regarding Ronaldo’s debut for the club, the Portuguese star is set to be available for Al Nassr’s Saudi Pro League clash against Al Ta’ee on Thursday. 

As Al Nassr must wait two weeks until they next host a match, the Saudi club will no doubt want Ronaldo to feature on Thursday before having to wait a fortnight to show off the new superstar to their fans.

Should Ronaldo miss out versus Al Ta’ee, he will likely make his home debut against Ettifaq on January 21.

The unsettled Portuguese international left Manchester United acrimoniously in November

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