Lopetegui reiterates Real stance on Modric

New Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui has moved to quell persistent rumours linking Luka Modric with a move to Inter Milan.

The Croatia international confirmed his status as one of the best midfielders in the game after helping his country reach the 2018 World Cup final and being named Player of the Tournament.

Speculation has been gathering pace that Modric could leave the Santiago Bernabeu for a fresh challenge, having won three successive UEFA Champions League titles with the Spanish giants.

The Nerazzurri are reportedly interested in bringing the 32-year-old playmaker to Italy, with Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti admitting he “will keep on dreaming with the fans”.

But Lopetegui insists Los Blancos have no intention of selling Modric and that they are waiting for him to return from his holidays next week “with open arms”.

“I think the president said it, I don’t think there’s much more to add,” the Spaniard told a news conference after his side’s 3-1 win over Juventus in the International Champions Cup on Sunday.

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

“I talked to Modric after the great World Cup that he had. We will see him when we get back 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.

“He is our player… We’ve been able to enjoy watching him play and we will continue to enjoy watching him.”