By Greg Stobart
Chelsea have been told they have no chance of signing Luka Modric this summer after making enquiries about a move for the Real Madrid star, Goal can reveal.
Jose Mourinho believes Modric would be the perfect fit for the Chelsea midfield and the Londoners have made discreet overtures towards the Croatia international.
Modric, 28, would be tempted by the prospect of returning to London in the future but sources close to the player insist he is happy at Real Madrid and feels he is in the form of his life.
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He has played a key role for the Spanish giants this season as Carlo Ancelotti’s side have booked a place in the Champions League final and also retain a chance of winning La Liga.
And Real Madrid have made it clear that they will not entertain any offers for Modric this summer, with three years remaining on his contract at the end of the season.
Mourinho is a huge fan of Modric and brought the playmaker to Madrid in August 2012 when they paid Tottenham around £33 million to bring him to to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Chelsea have made third party enquiries for Modric in the last month using the same well-connected agent who tried to take the player from Tottenham to Stamford Bridge in 2011 in a £40m deal and was also involved in the deal to take him to Spain a year later.
“Modric would be Mourinho’s first choice to improve his midfield in the summer and Roman Abramovich is also a massive fan - but it’s been made very clear that this one is going nowhere,” a source told Goal.
Modric settled slowly in his first campaign, having missed pre-season, and there were even suggestions that Real Madrid would listen to offers for the former Dinamo Zagreb man last summer.
But he has become an integral part of the side this season, making 47 appearances so far in all competitions.
With Modric unavailable, Mourinho has turned his attentions to Tottenham midfielder Paulinho - a player the Portuguese regards as a long-term replacement for veteran Frank Lampard.
Despite failing to impress in his debut season in English football, Paulinho's athleticism, intelligence and eye for goal have impressed the Chelsea manager to the extent that he has identified the Brazilian as a key target this summer.
No approach has yet been made to Tottenham, but while it is thought Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would drive a hard bargain if he were to entertain a sale, the club could be tempted to cash in on the player they signed for £17m only last summer.
Much, though, will depend on who takes over the Tottenham manager's seat, with current boss Tim Sherwood expected to leave the role at the end of the season.