Transfers involving high-profile clubs are generally some of the worst-kept secrets in top flight football and the possible sale of Tottenham Hotspur's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric to Spanish champions Real Madrid is no exception. The central midfielder is also reportedly a target for Spurs' London rivals Chelsea, who are believed to have already spent one unsuccessful summer in his pursuit; the Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had a £40mn bid for the player rejected last year.
In recent weeks, however, it has emerged that it is Jose Mourinho's side that has the upper hand in this battle and not the European champions. An earlier IBTimes UK report suggested the La Liga giants could force Spurs' hands with a £30mn bid for the 26 year old. The icing, it was understood, could be an offer to play in the Champions League this season; Spurs will have to play in the Europa League for this season. There were then indications the deal may not actually go through, after protracted negotiations left Modric frustrated and threatening to pull the deal.
However, The Sun reports a breakthrough in negotiations and reports a deal may be concluded within 48 hours. It is understood Spurs may also be demanding a Real Madrid player move in the opposite direction. In addition, Madrid's Spanish wing back, Alvaro Arbeloa, has been quoted in the Daily Mail as welcoming Modric's arrival, indicating the squad knows something we do not. The report also quotes Madrid's Portuguese centre back Pepe.
"I'm glad he is joining Real. We have many good midfielders, so they have to compete for a spot," the former Liverpool man was quoted as saying. Pepe added that he knew Modric was "a good player".
Meanwhile, there could still be a twist to the Modric tale, with news that cash-rich Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain could still yet move to spoil Real Madrid's party. The French club has confirmed the signing of AC Milan's Brazilian defender Thiago Silva on a five year contract; a report on Goal.com suggests the fee is in the region of €42mn (approximately £33mn). Carlo Ancelotti's side could look to add the Croatian to their ranks as well. The former AC Milan and Chelsea coach was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying he "knew his capabilities before" and that his performances at the 2012 European Championships, with his national side, "confirmed his high quality".
Given Spurs' insistence on a high-value transfer fee for Modric, there are not too many clubs he could conceivably move to and Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid aside, PSG are a possibility.