Napoli snubbed chance to sign Modric for £5.9m - before Tottenham signed him for £15.8m

Luka Modric Croatia

Napoli's haggling cost them the chance to sign Luka Modric, who later went onto become a star at Tottenham Hotspur.

Former Napoli executive Pierpaolo Marino has revealed the club blew a chance to sign Luka Modric early in his career.

Tuttomercatoweb reported how he told outlet Piunne how Napoli approached Dinamo Zagreb over a deal over a decade ago, offering five million Euros for the midfielder, who was then just 19-years-old.

Zagreb held out for eight million Euros, converted at £5.92m, and Napoli walked away from the negotiating table.

Napoli were in Serie B at the time, and Marino explained the money was too much to spend on any individual, when they needed to build a team capable of returning to Serie A.

He said: "Dinamo wanted eight million. It was too much and would invalidate the construction of the team returning to the top flight. "

It was not until 2007 Napoli won promotion, and by then Modric's reputation had seen Dinamo Zagreb's demands rise. Their loss was Tottenham's gain. 

Spurs splashed out £15.4 million to sign the Croatian international, who went onto become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

Modric helped Tottenham qualify for the Champions League, and was a key part of Harry Redknapp's side, which along with Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, and Aaron Lennon formed one of the club's best midfields in recent years.

Tottenham ended up selling him to Real Madrid for twice the fee they paid for him, where he continues to feature for the La Liga giants, winning the Champions League in 2014.

His career has clearly been very successful, but Modric's methodical style would have made him a good fit for Serie A, and alongside Marek Hamsik, supplying Edinson Cavani and later Gonzalo Higuain, would also surely have flourished.

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