Report: D.C. United targeting Real Madrid star Modric
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The departure of Wayne Rooney will be a distant memory if D.C. United can get their hands on the only man other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or over the last decade.

The Major League Soccer side has been in contact with Luka Modric's representatives over a move to D.C. that could materialize this summer, according to Pablo Maurer of The Athletic.

D.C. United have remained in contact with the Real Madrid star's representatives since their initial approach at the conclusion of the 2019 MLS season. Now, there's a sense the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner is leaning toward making the move to the American capital.

"He’s discussed it with his family and is excited by the idea," a source revealed to Maurer.

It appears salary negotiations could be the biggest obstacle, as Modric is expected to demand a contract that could be worth up to $6 million per year.

Modric's future at Real Madrid appeared to be uncertain earlier this season, as manager Zinedine Zidane limited his opportunities in favor of deploying 21-year-old Fede Valverde in central midfield.

But a string of positive performances could make it harder for Real Madrid to part with the Croatian superstar, who was praised by Zidane after scoring in last weekend's victory over Getafe.

A move for Modric would likely receive similar worldwide attention that D.C. United attracted when they signed Rooney, who joined Derby County as a player-coach in December 2018. But the impact on the pitch has the potential to be far greater.

Despite being the same age, Rooney's elite talents have been on a steady decline for years while Modric is still considered a world-class playmaker capable of improving almost any club across the globe.

After leading Croatia to an unexpected run to the final of the World Cup in 2018, Modric was rewarded for his stellar season for club and country later that year by winning the Ballon d'Or, which interrupted a decade of dominance by Messi and Ronaldo.

Report: D.C. United targeting Real Madrid star Modric
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