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Mate Bilic, who previously played alongside the midfielder at international level with the Vatreni, says he expects his compatriot to sign for the Blancos this summer

Luka Modric is "very close" to swapping Tottenham for Real Madrid, according to former Croatia striker and international team-mate Mate Bilic.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a successful four-year stint at White Hart Lane following a €16.5 million move from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008, but is being tipped to call time on his career in north London this summer.

However, in a surprise twist, the Sporting Gijon striker claims the playmaker is on the verge of signing for the Spanish champions, despite reported interest from Manchester United and Barcelona.

“I’m very good friends with Modric,” Bilic told the Daily Mail. "He wants to play in the Spanish league. He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He’s very close to agreeing a move.”

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Modric has attracted suitors all over Europe with a series of assured displays for the Lilywhites this season, but is expected to depart in order to pursue his ambition of playing regular Champions League football.

And Croatia legend Davor Suker has backed his countryman's potential move, claiming: "Luka Modric is a player who could play for Real Madrid. He needs to be playing for a team that will win trophies. He’d be perfect for them.

“I would recommend that [Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez signs him. If he doesn’t sign for Real Madrid, he’ll end up at Manchester City or Chelsea. He has to leave Tottenham to win trophies."

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