Manchester United are planning to test the resolve of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp by mounting a £50 million ($78 million) bid for brilliant Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.
United know that title contenders Tottenham will not allow one of their star players to leave at this stage of a crucial season for them, but they will throw the vast sum at the London club in the summer to try and find the midfield lynchpin they're sorely lacking.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had turned down a £40 million bid made by Chelsea for the creative midfielder on the closing day of the transfer window this season.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has apparently made the Croat his number one transfer target of the summer, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Modric is United’s top target as it seeks a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, the newspaper reported.
United tried to sign Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder in the summer, but his £250,000 a week wages would have broken the club’s salary structure, the Mail said.
Modric would likely double his £60,000 pounds a week wages, the newspaper said.
The 26-year-old has played a key role in Tottenham's emergence as title contenders.
Spurs are sitting third in the table, behind Manchester United and League leaders City to whom they lost 3-2 on Sunday.
United have looked thin in the midfield after Tom Cleverly and Darren Fletcher's chronic health problems forced the manager to call back veteran Scholes from retirement.
Modric gained the ire of Spurs fans before the start of the season after he handed a transfer request to the board and publicly spoke about his interest to join London rivals Chelsea.