A former Barcelona scout has revealed that the Catalan club were once very interested in luring Luka Modric to the Camp Nou.
Goran Vucevic spent five years at the Spanish giants as a player, but only managed two first team appearances before leaving for FC Koln in 1997. When his midfield days came to an end following a third stint at Hadjuk Split in 2001, he returned to Catalonia and was part of a scouting network who watched Modric.
At that time the playmaker was on the books of Dinamo Zagreb, and was beginning to earn a reputation as one of the most promising talents in Europe. However, Barca decided against making a bid for him due to his price tag, and the Croatian international instead joined Tottenham Hotspur for £16.5million in 2008.
“Modric was beginning to stand out when I joined the Barca scouting structure,” Vucevic told Marca. “We followed many players and he was the most important we found around the world. We watched him for a long time. He was very interesting to Barca because the club’s characteristics fit his personality.
“Modric always liked to have the ball, to pass, to move around the field, he was very comprehensive. Although he was young, he still looked special. He would have smoothly suited Barca. By the time he left Zagreb for Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona wouldn’t enter the bidding. He was considered too expensive.”
Modric, then 22, was a huge hit at White Hart Lane, and was soon regarded as one of the best midfield players in the Premier League. During the past 12 months or so in the capital, he was linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea, the latter of whom are believed to have placed an offer of £40million for him in 2011.
He eventually left England the following summer, when he signed for Real Madrid for £33million. After a slow start to life in the Spanish capital Modric, now 28, has established himself as a key member of the Bernabeu first team setup, and has figured in 19 of their 20 La Liga matches this season.