It's been a torrid time for Real Madrid this season, and Jose Mourinho's recent nightmare at Real Madrid has been exacerbated by his failings in the transfer market.
The summer saw only Michael Essien and Luka Modric join Los Blancos, but neither have had the desired impact and in fact, the latter has been nothing short of a disaster.
Modric had built up a reputation for being a creative midfielder during a four year spell with Tottenham Hotspur, and attracted interest from Cheslea and Manchester United before Mourinho swooped and brought the diminutive Croatian to Madrid.
Even at the time of the signing, the move seemed strange. Mourinho has almost religiously stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation, and questions were asked regarding where Modric would fit in the system. Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso were a formidable partnership in defensive midfield, whilst Kaka and Mesut Ozil were competing to play in attacking midfield.
Modric has yet to adapt to La Liga, but as speculated, he's also yet to hold down a position in the team.
After an underwhelming start to his career, Modric has been strongly linked with a return to England, with previous suitors Chelsea and Manchester United circling him for a €22m move.
The extent of Modric's struggles was exhibited when Spanish newspaper Marca ran a poll asking readers to vote for the worst signing of the season in La Liga. Whilst Barcelona's Alex Song was close in second place, Modric clinched over 32% of the vote to earn the shameful tag.
So now as we hit the January transfer window, Madrid and Mourinho have a decision to make. Admittedly, Mourinho is unlikely to be with the club next year, so the club may have the final say over whether to keep the Croatian and hope he acclimatises to Spanish football, as losing around €10m in just six months would appear to be terrible business by a team currently struggling for results.
Ultimately, it seems the team are ready to put their faith in the 27-year-old, particularly with assistant manager Aitor Karanka's quotes after the Copa del Rey game against Celta Vigo in midweek.
“It’s obvious that Luka has suffered due to not being here during pre-season with all the other players and that the team was not playing well. When these things happen the player doesn’t find his place in the team or have any confidence, but we didn’t and we do not doubt the type of performance he can give. That’s why we signed him and know that we’re coming to the final stage we know the type of player he is.”
Modric himself is in no doubt that he has a part to play in Madrid, but also admits that it has been hard for him to adapt to such a big club.
“I am not looking for any excuses, I am not like that but at a club like Real Madrid it is very hard to adapt. I have had a good number of performances, not every game, but overall I think I have done well and showed what I can offer.”
So for the time being, it appears that Modric will stay at the club – but if one of the interested teams offers close to the €33m that Los Blancos paid for him last summer, then they may be tempted to cut their losses and move on.
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