'We're waiting for him with open arms' - Lopetegui slams door on Modric departure

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The Blancos manager attempted to end speculation linking the star midfielder with a move to Inter

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has attempted to end speculation linking Luka Modric with a move to Inter, insisting the Blancos will welcome him back with open arms.

The Croatia star has been tipped to make a shock exit to Inter following his Golden Ball-winning performance at the World Cup this summer. 

Inter manager Luciano Spalletti admitted the 32-year-old could arrive at San Siro, saying: “I will keep on dreaming with the fans."

But Madrid president Florentino Perez has already attempted to quell any notion of Modric leaving, saying that he will only be sold if a €750 million (£670m/$870m) release clause is met , and the club's manager has now backed those words. 

Speaking after Madrid's 3-1 win over Juventus in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, Lopetegui pointed to Perez's statement as definitive.  

"I think the president said it, I don't think there's much more to add," Lopetegui said. 

"He's made it concise and clear. Luka Modric is an extraordinary player and we're waiting for him with open arms."

Lopetegui was asked if he had talked to Modric after his extraordinary World Cup, as the Croatian star led his country to the final where they ultimately fell to France. 

"Yes I talked to Modric after the great World Cup that he had," Lopetegui said. 

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"We will see him when we get back [to Spain] on August 8 and we'll see if he is available on the 15th in our first key match.

"What I told him is ultimately private but what I feel is that he's a player that I love watching and I'm thrilled to have him and ultimately I think he'll be very happy to be on the team."

Real Madrid close out their ICC campaign against Roma on Tuesday before facing local rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup on August 15. 

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