The deal was stopped by Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley.
The new Black Cats manager is of course a former Newcastle boss. He was at St James Park for less than a year in what was a rather unmemorable stint.
But he has always believed that he might be able to have done more at Newcastle and, if the club had signed one of his main targets, that very well might have been the case.
As serialised by The Chronicle today Big Sam says the club could have signed Modric from Dinamo Zagreb back in 2007. Instead the club ended up signing Geremi - who would play just over 50 times for Newcastle in an injury plagued Tyneside career. Whilst Modric went on to become a Tottenham and Real Madrid superstar:
“I was then on the way to getting Luka Modric from Dinamo Zagreb, but by then, Mike (Ashley) saw the scale of the full debut and put the clamps on, so I had to make do with Geremi from Chelsea.”
Of course Allardyce has previous at claiming big deals that didn't come off for whatever reason. He once claimed that he would have signed Polish sensation Robert Lewandowski were it not for the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull and the grounding of many flights across Europe.
So Newcastle fans should take the claim with the slightest pinch of salt. However, imagine if he actually had become a Newcastle player.