Modric staying at Real Madrid, Lopetegui claims

Amid rumours of a potential move to Inter, Julen Lopetegui has insisted Luka Modric remains highly valued by Real Madrid.

Published : Aug 05, 2018 09:04 IST

Real Madrid has no intention of allowing midfielder Luka Modric to leave the club, according to head coach Julen Lopetegui.

Widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, Modric helped Croatia reach the World Cup final in Russia, where it lost the decider 4-2 to France last month. 

There had been suggestions Madrid would be open to offers for the 32-year-old playmaker, with Inter rumoured to be among the potential suitors.

READ: Real Madrid 3 Juventus 1: Bale stunner sparks confident comeback

However, speaking after the 3-1 International Champions Cup victory over Juventus in Maryland on Sunday, Lopetegui insisted that the former Tottenham star will not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu. 

"I think the president said it, I don't think there's much more to add. He's made it concise and clear. Luka Modric is an extraordinary player and we're waiting for him with open arms," he told a news conference.

"I talked to Modric after the great World Cup that he had. We will see him when we get back on August 8 and we'll see if he is available on the 15th in our first key match," he added, referring to Modric's delayed return to action after his involvement in the tournament.

ALSO READ: Modric would be important for Inter - Spalletti

"What I told him is ultimately private, but what I feel is that he's a player that I love watching and I'm thrilled to have him, and ultimately, I think he'll be very happy to be on the team. He is our player… We've been able to enjoy watching him play and we will continue to enjoy watching him."

Marco Asensio, who scored twice as Madrid came from behind to cruise past the Serie A title-holder, offered an encouraging assessment of the team's progress early in the reign of the new boss.

"Lopetegui is instilling his ideas and we are accepting them well. We like his style of play and, although there are things to be improved, we are gearing up well for the UEFA Super Cup against Atletico, where we play for the first trophy of the season," he said.

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And, Lopetegui refused to be drawn on suggestions Madrid must try to sign a player of the calibre of Neymar or Eden Hazard as a replacement for the departed Cristiano Ronaldo. 

"I don't talk about players who don't belong to Real Madrid, what I can say is that Marco and the others you mentioned were excellent today," he said.

"Marco was excellent playing a position he doesn't normally play. He did it quite well as did the others and overall I'm extremely happy."

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