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Is Real Madrid's Luka Modric the perfect replacement for Angel Di Maria at Manchester United?

Luka Modric Croatia

With Luka Modric linked with a move away from Real Madrid, could the Croatian be the perfect replacement for Angel Di Maria at Manchester United?

Recent reports from the Daily Star suggest that Luka Modric could be set to exit Real Madrid in June, with the La Liga heavyweights said to be planning a big-money move for highly-coveted French international midfielder Paul Pogba. If the speculation is true, the 21-year-old's arrival could leave Modric surplus to requirements.

The Croatian international joined the Spanish club in the summer of 2012, arriving from Tottenham for around £30m, and has since grown into one of the pivotal players in Carlo Ancelotti's Champions League winning side. However, with Pogba impressing in Italy for runaway Serie A leaders Juventus, it is easy to see why the Galacticos are interested in his services. 

Although he yesterday refuted claims suggesting his departure from the Spanish capital, as reported by TalkSPORT, star players have been known to leave the Bernabeu unexpectedly in the past. Angel Di Maria fell victim to the La Liga outfit's cut-throat approach last summer; who is to say a similar situation will not befall Modric this time around?

Despite speculation linking him with a move to the Etihad, one would suggest Modric would be an ideal signing for City's close rivals, Manchester United. Tried and tested in the Premier League with Spurs, the 29-year-old would be a suitable replacement for the aforementioned Di Maria, who has also been heavily linked with an abrupt exit from Old Trafford.

Injury has cost Modric almost three months' worth of playing time this season, and yet he has still proven integral to the Galacticos throughout his 12 league appearances. Despite scoring just once, and assisting a further two, he continues to impress at the Bernabeu, and in fact, he is superior to Louis van Gaal's current midfield options in a number of key areas. 

Average Stats per Appearance  TeamPassing Acc (%)Key PassesGoalsShot Acc (%)Dribble Succ (%)InterceptTacklesAerial WonSeason AppsTotal Mins
Luka Modric Real Madrid 91 1.33 0.08 50 84 1.67 0.92 0.67 12 998
Juan Mata Man Utd 90 1.24 0.28 41 50 0.64 0.64 0.08 25 1,660
Ander Herrera Man Utd 88 0.89 0.17 17 85 1.83 1.5 0.56 18 1,148
Marouane Fellaini Man Utd 85 0.68 0.21 50 48 1 2.16 4.16 19 1,247
Ángel Di María Man Utd 78 2.19 0.14 29 43 0.76 0.43 0 21 1,516

Modric has completed 91% of his passes this term - more than any Manchester United player - while he has found success in 84% of his attempts to dribble past an opponent. Only mega-money signing Angel Di Maria has fashioned more scoring chances than his former team-mate, per appearance, while he is only bettered by Herrera in terms of interceptions made. 

The Croatian emerged as one of the division's outstanding performers during his days at White Hart Lane, and one would suggest he has only improved during his time in Spain. With Cesc Fabregas returning with aplomb, United fans have witnessed the impact a spell in La Liga can have on a player's development.

At this stage of his career Luka Modric would be some signing for Manchester United, and a worthy replacement for Angel Di Maria, should the Argentine international make an unlikely exit.  

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