As Paul Scholes continues to set the Premier League alight at 37 years old, Sir Alex Ferguson has re-ignited his search for the playmaker’s successor, with Luka Modric his chief target.
Modric was long linked with a move away from Tottenham last summer, and appeared primed to make the switch across London by joining Chelsea, but it now appears United have stolen a march on their rivals for his signature.
The Croatian star was open to the idea of leaving last summer, citing a desire to play Champions League football as his motivation for handing in a transfer request at White Hart Lane.
Whilst an opportunity to double or perhaps triple his wages may have played a part in his decision to ask to exit the club too, Modric has yet to put pen to paper on the £100,000-a-week deal that Spurs offered him.
Now, with Champions League qualification looking uncertain for Harry Redknapp’s side after such an impressive start to the season, Sir Alex Ferguson could be ready to launch a £40million bid to land one of Europe’s most highly-rated midfielders.
He baulked at the idea of paying such a fee for Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder last season, after continuously being linked with the Dutchman, and his failure to complete that deal was a factor in Fergie’s decision to ask Scholes out of retirement.
However, after seeing what a detriment the absence of a playmaker in the mould of Scholes was to his side prior to January, Ferguson now seems willing to shell out a substantial fee to secure a long-term successor to the maestro.
Potential moves for Lille’s Eden Hazard and Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan have been mooted for United, but with neither an out-and-out deep-lying playmaker, Modric would seem the preferable option for Ferguson.