Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has made clear his club have no intention of letting Luka Modric join Inter Milan this summer -- saying the only way the World Cup Golden Ball winner can leave is if his €750 million release clause is paid in full.
Reports in Italy had claimed that Modric has been talking to Inter over a surprise move, with the 32-year-old hopeful that Madrid will let him out of the last two years of his contract.
However, Perez used a visit to Madrid's preseason camp in Miami on Thursday to tell reporters that "the only way Modric leaves is if they pay €750m."
Marca reported that nobody at the Bernabeu has even considered the idea that the midfielder could leave this summer.
Modric is on holiday in Sardinia with his wife, Vanja Bosnic, who previously worked with his former agent Zdravko Mamic, and has reportedly been handling the negotiations with Inter.
Reports in Italy suggested that, following Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus earlier this summer, the Real Madrid hierarchy will not stand in the way of a player who has given great service to the club as winners of four of the last five Champions League trophies.
However, Spanish reports maintained that Madrid are confident they can hold their player to the contract signed in 2016, which pays him around €9m a year after tax.
Former Madrid player and current youth team coach, Alvaro Benito, told El Larguero that the idea Perez was now a soft-touch who would just let his best players leave for nothing was very much mistaken.
"They are thinking around Europe that Real Madrid is an NGO, and will give their best players to anyone who asks," Benito said. "Whoever wants Modric must pay his €750m release clause. Cristiano's situation was something unique, and the club allowed him to leave [cheaply] due to his past service, but with Modric we are talking about something else. He is the engine of the team, and nobody wants him to leave."
Inter already have Croatia internationals Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic on their books, and took right-back Sime Vrsaljko on loan from Atletico Madrid earlier this week.
The San Siro club have not commented publicly on the Modric speculation, but have admitted that plans are in place for "one more big signing" this summer. Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal had been strongly linked, but the Chile international is now close to joining Barcelona instead.
Modric is due back in Madrid to begin preseason training on Sunday, along with Mateo Kovacic and Raphael Varane who also took part in the World Cup final. They will join up with their teammates later next week, when Julen Lopetegui and his squad return from their International Champions Cup in the United States.