Ryan Giggs thinks Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric could be the man to replace Paul Scholes at Manchester United. The Old Trafford legend believes that the skillful Croat has the necessary guile to fill the void left by Scholes, who retired from football in 2013.

Since then, United has failed to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League crown – but Giggs feels that recruiting a player of Modric's ilk would go a long way towards closing the gap between them and their domestic rivals.

"Today Croatia is strong, with Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric – he is my favourite," the ex-United midfielder and coach told reporters at a UEFA event in Zagreb, according to ESPN.

"For me Modric is the real successor to Paul Scholes. I would be happy if he was to come to United. They are very similar players and if it was up to me I would bring him to United."

However, United would appear to have a slim chance at best of prising Modric, 31, away from the Spanish club after he recently extended his contract at Madrid until June 2020. Since joining Los Blancos in 2012, Modric has enjoyed considerable success, winning two Champions Leagues, two European Supercups, the World Club Cup and one Copa del Rey.

United's chances of signing Modric are furthered hampered by his popularity at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Madrid supporters having warmed to the Croat since he joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur.

Modric, meanwhile, recently admitted he would be happy to retire at Madrid. "My desire is to retire at Real Madrid and with this renewal I am closer to that challenge, but it depends on many things," Modric revealed during a press conference. "How I feel, what I contribution to the team ... But my idea is to retire here."