Ligue 2 side Sochaux have revealed how they turned down the chance to sign Luka Modric when he was a teenager because they were unwilling to pay €5 million for his signature.
Mecha Bazdarevic was assistant-coach at Sochaux when Modric was 18-years-old, and that he wanted to bring the Croatian midfielder to France. Bazdarevic went to watch Modric when he was at Dinamo Zagreb, but they wanted €5m for the midfielder.
"I fell in love, but he was already too old to bring him to our academy," Bazdarevic told France Football . "He had an ability to eliminate his opponent, with his ball control, his fluidity, everything in fact,"
Modric played with Zagreb until 2008 when he signed for Premier League club Tottenham, who equalled their club record fee of £16.5m to sign him. Despite the setback of a knee injury soon after his arrival at White Hart Lane, Modric flourished in England, playing over 150 times for Spurs before attracting the attention of Real Madrid.
In 2012, Madrid spent £30m on him, and he has gone on to win three Champions League trophies with Los Blancos. The 32-year-old has also twice been named in the FIFPro World XI and is a five-time Croatian Player of the Year winner.