Modric transfer to Real Madrid imminent, claims Mamic

Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric’s move to Real Madrid is certain to be completed shortly, according to Dinamo Zagreb director of football Zoran Mamic.

Modric joined Spurs from the Croatian club for 20.9 million in 2008 and the north London side are now reportedly demanding over double that for the diminutive playmaker.

Negotiations over his move to the Spanish giants have been ongoing through the summer, but Mamic insists they will conclude in time to meet the transfer deadline.

“You read many things in the media but from the information I have, Luka will move to Real Madrid for sure,” Mamic told 24sata.

“I’ve heard it’s almost done, so I don’t have any doubts Luka will play for Real Madrid next season,” Mamic continued.

“It is just a question of when the official announcement will be.”

Modric has made 127 league appearances for Tottenham, contributing 13 goals and 21 assists over four seasons.

Mourinho backs Sahin for Premier League switch but remains coy on Carvalho move to QPR

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has admitted he expects Nuri Sahin to join a Premier League club before the close of the transfer window but has remained noncommittal on the futures of Ricardo Carvalho and Kaka.

Turkish midfielder Sahin has been strongly linked with a loan move to both Liverpool and Arsenal but could yet be used as a makeweight in the deal for Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric.

But, amidst suggestions that the Portuguese boss was eager not to allow Sahin to join a Champions League rival, Mourinho has insisted he does not care where the midfielder ends up.

“I want him to play, for him to go somewhere to play. The Premier League could teach him new aspects of his game but I don’t mind where he goes,” he told reporters.

“It’s not at all true that there’s any one club to which I would prefer that he went. It doesn’t matter to me, I just hope that it’s sorted for him soon.

“It’s absolutely fine with me whether he goes to Arsenal, Liverpool or Tottenham.”

Mourinho also revealed open to offers for Brazilian playmaker Kaka, though the former AC Milan man has received considerably less interest than Sahin.

“They’re different situations – with Nuri there are several options but nobody has made an official bid for Kaka like they have for Nuri,” he continued.

Another player reportedly bound for the Premier League is Ricardo Carvalho, but Mourinho insists that he is unaware of any bid from QPR for the Portuguese centre-back, nor does he anticipate Mark Hughes needing both Carvalho and Michael Dawson.

“I can’t confirm anything with QPR,” Mourinho added. “I don’t even know if the information is correct or not because they’ve told me that Dawson has signed for QPR for £9 million – if they’ve signed Dawson, I don’t know if they’ll be interested in Carvalho.”

Barcelona and Real Madrid are given preferential schedule, says Malaga's Pellegrini

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is unhappy with the hectic schedule of his team, hinting that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia are given preferential treatment.

The Andalusians are preparing for the first leg of their Champions League play-off with Panathinaikos on Wednesday night, but have been scheduled to play an 11pm fixture with Mallorca in La Liga on Sunday, just two days before the return game in Greece.

Speaking at a press conference, Pellegrini was clearly frustrated with the timing of the match, and hinted that Spain’s other representatives in Europe’s elite competition are being given precedence.

“Unfortunately, the programming is so strange to us, because we are playing at 11pm and will finish at 1.30am, and on Tuesday we play in the Champions League.

“We’ll see if Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia have the same treatment and play at that time,” he continued.

“Our recovery is more complicated. Let’s see if during the Champions League another team involved in that would have to play at 11pm on the preceding Saturday and only have 48 hours to recover.”

“I don’t think there is intent to hinder Malaga. They [the authorities] unfortunately did not take into account the Champions League. The four teams represent Spain, and I think we should have the same conditions.”.

Mourinho: I would trade Supercopa for La Liga title

Jose Mourinho - Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho – Real Madrid

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has made clear that he would much rather see his team defend their La Liga title than defeat arch-rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa.

The Portuguese went on to discuss the Catalans’ new signings, stating that while Alex Song and Jordi Alba give Tito Vilanova’s side more options, the Spanish league runners-up are still pretty much the same team.

“If I could, I would lose the Supercopa now and win La Liga. I would also give the Supercopa away if this provided extra motivation to win the league,” Mourinho was quoted by Marca

“The Supercopa does not affect the championship. It has no influence on it simply because the competition is less important than the four competitions we will take part in during the season.

“It does not determine how the league season will unfold. I think that when rival clubs meet, they always want to win. For this reason, winning the Supercopa is important, even if it has no effect on the rest of the season.

The Portuguese then went on to speak about the personnel changes at Barcelona, and what effect they will have on the Blaugrana.

“Barcelona are a team with practically the same players as last season. They have the same style which they can change a little now that they have two new players.

“There will be some small differences, but, for me it is the usual Barcelona, a team with great quality, great players, but I do not see that much of a difference from recent seasons.”

AC Milan weigh up Drenthe swoop

By Gaia Brunelli

Royston Drenthe could be on his way to Serie A this summer as AC Milan are considering the possibility of signing the Dutchman, can reveal.

The Italian giants are keen to add some fresh blood to their squad following the departure of several first-team regulars, and they see the 25-year-old as a useful addition.

Drenthe was released on a free transfer by Real Madrid this summer after the Liga champions opted not to renew his contract, and the former Everton loanee has since been looking for a new club.

Milan face stiff competition in the race for the winger’s signature though, as Manchester City, West Ham United and Dynamo Kiev have already contacted the player’s agent to discuss a potential transfer.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri have not given up hope of signing Real Madrid midfielder Kaka on a season-long loan deal.

The San Siro outfit lack the financial resources to pay a transfer fee for the attacking midfielder, but they remain hopeful that Madrid will allow Kaka to leave the club temporarily as the summer transfer window is set to slam shut in nine days time.

Milan are also keen on Lassana Diarra, but no movement is expected on his part until Madrid have wrapped up the signing of Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur.