Ally McCoist explains why Rangers missed out on Luka Modric

14th April 2019, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish Cup football, semi final, Aberdeen versus Celtic;  Ex Rangers star Ally McCoist watches on

Real Madrid superstar and Champions League legend Luka Modric was a target for Scottish Premiership giants Rangers before he moved to Tottenham.

Luka Modric of Real Madrid celebrates goal 3-1 during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 23, 2019 in Madrid Spain

Ally McCoist admits that Rangers made an enquiry to sign a young Luka Modric from Dinamo Zagreb before his £16.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, speaking to Alan Brazil on talkSPORT (6 December, 9.30am).

At the age of 34, Modric has enjoyed the kind of career that most footballers can only dream about. One of the most gifted playmakers of his generation, the Croatia legend has won four Champions League titles in the famous white shirt of Real Madrid and, after inspiring his country to the World Cup final in Russia, broke the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly to earn the prestigious Ballon D’Or trophy in 2018.

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But it’s tempting to wonder how different Modric’s footballing journey would have panned out if Rangers had not been priced out of a move to bring a fresh-faced midfielder to Ibrox over a decade ago.

 

Rangers hero McCoist was working as an assistant to Walter Smith during Modric’s formative years in Eastern Europe and, after watching the youngster in action for Dinamo Zagreb, he felt that the Glasgow giants had to at least try and agree a deal.

“I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know how much money we’ve got in our bank account but there’s a wee fella called Modric. If you can get him gaffer, he is unbelievable,” said McCoist, repeating what he told Smith all those years ago.

Jarolim David of Hamburger SV (L) vies with Luka Modric of Dinamo during their  UEFA Cup group D football match in Zagreb, 05 December 2007.   AFP PHOTO

“Walter picked up the phone and said forget it, he’ll cost too much for us.

“He just looked light-years ahead of anything else on the football pitch.”

In 2008, Modric was handed his big break with a £16.5 million move to Tottenham, a deal which made him their joint-record signing at the time (Telegraph).

Rangers, meanwhile, have never in their entire history signed a player for over £10 million so their attempts to lure one of the best talents of the 21st century to Ibrox always felt like a pipe dream. But who can blame McCoist for trying?

Luka Modric of Real Madrid  (L) fights for the ball with Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur FC (R) during the UEFA Champions League 2017-18 match between Real Madrid and Tottenham...

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