Luka Modric hasn’t signed for Madrid, Man Utd or a modelling contract with Matalan. But every other day the same quote-free, unsubstantiated stories surface and are then repurposed as stone cold fact by an increasingly lazy, feckless media.
On 8th June, The Sun’s Neil Custis wrote with cast-iron certainty that little Luka had signed a four-year deal with Man Utd for a paltry £26m. The cut-price fee only made possible by Sir Alex Ferguson’s two billion unredeemed Nectar points.
Presumably, Mr. Custis had recently returned from a mind-bending peyote session in the Mojave Desert because this highly trumpeted ‘EXCLUSIVE’ bore no truth in the world of the substance-free.
And so it continues. Every few days, coincidently during a slow hour of news, a fresh ‘Modric agrees terms with [insert name of Champions League team}’ piece appears in a puff of smoke like an overworked genie. For around 36 hours that same non-story is shamelessly plagiarised, cut-and-pasted and pumped out as undisputed truth by desperate newshounds. Want to know the Croatian’s price of the day? Simply roll two dice and add the total in millions to £24m and you have the transfer fee. Gospel.
The level of industrial strength BS involved is placed into sharp perspective by Sportwitness.com’s highly recommended ‘Luka Modric Daily’ which adroitly dissects the Modric transfer lie du jour. Late last week, Croatian rag ’24 Sata’ claimed that Modric had agreed terms with Real Madrid. Done deal. This story was seized upon with glee by Europe’s sporting media and, within minutes, tributes to the mercurial midfielder were appearing across the social media from misty-eyed Spurs fans.
Yet the following day, showing more front than Lucy Pinder squeezed into a B Cup bra, ‘24 Sata’ shamelessly reported: ‘…as stated by the international media during Friday, it looks like Modric has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid.' Jaw-dropping.
Seminal rap ensemble Public Enemy once opined: ‘Don’t believe the hype’. Until a club meets Daniel Levy’s inevitably inflated Croatian valuation, I suggest you follow that sage advice. An exquisite talent like Modric’s will undoubtedly be missed, but not before he’s left the building.