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Real Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic both trained on Wednesday morning amid continuing speculation that one or both could leave the club.
Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said after Tuesday's 2-1 International Champions Cup victory against Roma that Kovacic "wants to leave," with a loan move to Chelsea being reported in Spain although a permanent transfer is also possible ahead of Thursday's Premier League window closing.
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Meanwhile, reports in Italy said Modric plans to ask club president Florentino Perez for permission to leave for Inter Milan, despite Perez's claim last week that only another club triggering his €750 million release clause could bring an exit.
"Luka Modric, Golden Ball at the World Cup in Russia, has started his preseason and trained at Real Madrid City," a club statement said. "The Croatian midfielder joined Marcelo, Varane, Casemiro and Kovacic, who did individual work in the gym. The four players trained with nine players from the under-18s and Oscar from Real Madrid Castilla. After the initial warm-up, the players did different exercises combining skills, touch and running with the ball before ending with a match on a small field. Modric, on the other hand, finished the session with some jogging."
After losing Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, the Madrid hierarchy are loathe to lose Modric too, and the former Tottenham player was included in the publicity for the team's new "coral2 third kit on Tuesday.
Marca said although Madrid's hierarchy are angry with Modric for not publicly coming out to deny the speculation over his future, they accept that he deserves a raise, and will now offer to increase his €8m annual salary.
AS have claimed Modric received an offer worth a total of €60m to spend the next two seasons at Inter, and then join Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning.