Luka Modric has reaffirmed his commitment to Real Madrid amid rumours he is wanted by Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
The 37-year-old is into his 11th campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu, during which time he has won 22 trophies, but he is due to be out of contract at the end of the season.
He has been touted as a possible target for Al Nassr, who sensationally signed Cristiano Ronaldo in December following his release from Manchester United.
But when probed on his future while away on international duty with Croatia on Friday, a frustrated Modric made clear his priority is to agree fresh terms with Madrid.
“My wish is known: to stay at Real Madrid,” he said at a pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Wales. “I believe and hope that it comes true.
“The rest of what’s said is just assumptions and rumours. I repeat the same thing for the hundredth time: I hope and believe that I will stay at Real Madrid.”
Modric, who has previously said he wants to feel as though he has deserved a new deal, also rubbished claims Madrid have asked him to retire from Croatia duty.
“Short and clear – no,” Modric said when that suggestion was put to him.
Tonight, #Croatia held the official practice session at Poljud Stadium in Split.
Less than 24 hours to go! Excited? #Family #Vatreni pic.twitter.com/Adr1aTJaCl
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) March 24, 2023
The former Zagreb and Tottenham midfielder is in line to earn his 163rd cap for Croatia when they face Wales in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier in Split.
Having elected not to retire following Croatia’s World Cup semi-final defeat to France, Modric will overtake Drazen Ladic as his country’s oldest ever player.
“I didn’t know that before the conference and I don’t know if it’s good or bad!” Modric said. “I feel great with the national team and I’m glad to be here. I feel happy when I’m here.
“We are all focusing on the Wales game. Hopefully we can get a positive result and take that confidence to Turkey.
“The most important thing is that we win tomorrow. We know we are the favourites and are expected to win, but football is unpredictable and you need to be at 100 per cent.”
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