Newcastle United have seen many players join the Tyneside club over the years on permanent transfers or loan deals.
The previous January transfer window showed just how capable the Magpies and their new owners are when it comes to spending significant amounts of money to bring in new faces to try and strengthen their squad and push the team forward.
Taking a look back down the years, one figure that the club were supposedly pursuing on two different occasions that they will undoubtedly regret not buying is Luka Modric.
According to Planet Football, former Toon boss Kevin Keegan was eager to sign the midfielder back in 2008 when Modric was at Dinamo Zagreb. They also claimed that Sam Allardyce wanted to sign the Croatian a year prior during his tenure at St James’ Park.
The former Magpies and Everton manager said: “I was then on the way to getting Luka Modric from Dinamo Zagreb, but by then, Mike saw the scale of the full debut and put the clamps on, so I had to make do with Geremi from Chelsea.”
After scoring 22 goals and providing 21 assists in 73 appearances for Dinamo Zagreb, the midfielder did end up making a move to England, but it was Tottenham Hotspur who secured his signature in the summer of 2008 rather than Newcastle for a fee of around £20m.
Having played in 160 games for the Lilywhites across all competitions, finding the net 17 times and delivering 26 assists, the midfielder found himself on the move again, this time to his current club Real Madrid in 2012.
During his time in Spain, the 36-year-old has scored 31 goals and provided 69 assists in 427 appearances, winning four Champions League titles among many other trophies including numerous individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or and UEFA’s Best Player in Europe, both in 2018.
Labelled an “extraordinary” player by Carlo Ancelotti and a “mental monster” by journalist Dermot Corrigan, Modric has been sold for a combined total of just over £51m throughout his time in football according to Transfermarkt and racked up 186 goals and assists throughout what has been a shining career.
Taking all this into account, it’s safe to say that Keegan and Allardyce both had howlers over not convincing the hierarchy at Newcastle to launch a substantial move for the midfield maestro when they were pursuing him before his move to Spurs.