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As the Croatian midfielder edges towards a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, one of his former coaches has lauded his intelligence on the ball and defended his slight physique

Former Tottenham and Real Madrid boss Juande Ramos has praised Luka Modric as the La Liga champions look to finalise a deal for the Croatian playmaker in the coming weeks.

The 57-year-old was responsible, along with then-Spurs director of football Damien Comolli, for completing the deal to bring the midfielder to White Hart Lane for €20.9m (£16.5m) in April 2008.

Speaking to Marca, Ramos described how Modric is so effective because "he always chooses the right option", and emphasised above all else, the player's "intelligence in the game".

And despite Modric's slight frame coming under slight criticism, Ramos also hailed the player's "very powerful lower body".

"Luka is strong and he does not hide from defensive tasks. He works as hard as anyone," added the ex-CSKA Moscow trainer.

Reports this afternoon have suggested that a fee of around €40m (£31.5m) has been agreed to take Modric to the Spanish capital, but neither side have confirmed this as yet.

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