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