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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Luka Modric returns to Real Madrid training amid doubts over future

Contradictions appear in media as one daily claims midfielder bound for Inter Milan, while another says Croat about to accept pay rise from Madrid

Luka Modric has won three consecutive Uefa Champions League titles with Real Madrid. Reuters
Luka Modric has won three consecutive Uefa Champions League titles with Real Madrid. Reuters

Luka Modric returned to training at Real Madrid on Wednesday along with five other World Cup players, against a background of contradictory rumours about his future.

One Spanish sports daily, AS, reported that the midfielder who led Croatia to the World Cup final was subject to a big bid from Inter Milan, while a competing newspaper, Marca said the 32-year-old player was about to accept a pay rise from Madrid and sign a contract extension.

Modric, awarded the Golden Ball as best player at the World Cup, was given a break rather than join Madrid's pre-season tour of the United States, as were another Croatian World Cup finalist, Mateo Kovacic, who was reported to have travelled to London to join Chelsea, French World Cup winner Raphael Varane and Brazilian duo Marcelo and Casemiro.

On Wednesday, as the Madrid first team flew back to the Spanish capital after beating Roma in New Jersey on Tuesday night, the club said the World Cup players were in training.

"The Croatian midfielder joined Marcelo, Varane, Casemiro and Kovacic, who did individual work in the gym. The four players trained with nine players from the Under 18s," Madrid said on their website.

Among the conflicting reports, Marca said that Modric, who joined Madrid in 2012, "did not consider his current salary matched the level of his performances" and that the player, who turns 33 early in September, was about to sign the best contract of his career.

AS said Modric, who has not commented publicly, "foresaw joining Inter". Marca said "he would stay at Madrid" because "the club intended to increase his salary".

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