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Julen Lopetegui confirms Luka Modric will stay at Real Madrid
- Updated: August 8, 2018
New Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has rubbished the rumours that have constantly linked Croatian midfielder Luka Modric with a move away from the club. Modric was widely expected to seal a move to Inter Milan, having expressed his desire to leave Spain, and was expected to hold talks with club president Florentino Perez regarding the same. However, Lopetegui has now come out and stated that the midfielder is going nowhere and that he expects Modric to play a key role in the side in the upcoming season.
Speaking to the media after Real Madrid’s victory against Juventus in the International Champions Cup, Lopetegui announced that the club are waiting for Modric to return from his vacation following the World Cup and that they would ‘welcome him with open arms’.
'I think the president said it, I don't think there's much more to add,' Lopetegui explained. 'He's made it concise and clear. Luka Modric is an extraordinary player and we're waiting for him with open arms. 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.
'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.'
Earlier, Perez too had announced that Madrid would not consider selling Modric and that his release clause – estimated to be around 700m euros – would have to be met if clubs truly wanted to sign him. This development comes at the perfect time for Real Madrid and their fans who were afraid of losing another top player so soon after the departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.