Luka Modric's move to Spain is drawing ever closer, according to a close friend of the Tottenham and Croatia star.
Modric is currently on duty with his national team at Euro 2012, where he has again demonstrated his midfield prowess in games against Ireland and Italy.
Tottenham's failure to qualify for the Champions League has intensified talk that Modric will be on his way, and Harry Redknapp's sacking now means the club are without a manager.
And according to Modric's friend and former team-mate Mate Bilic, a striker at Sporting Gijon, the 26-year-old has his heart set on a move to La Liga.
"He wants to play in the Spanish league," he said. "He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He's very close to agreeing a move."
Modric was a target for Chelsea before the start of last season but was eventually persuaded to stay by Redkanpp, with Tottenham valuing him at £35 million.
But former Croatia star Davor Suker, who played in the Premier League with Arsenal, thinks Modric would slot into any of Europe's top sides, including his former club Real Madrid.
He said: "Luka Modric is a player who could play for Real Madrid. He needs to be playing for a team that will win trophies. He'd be perfect for them.
"I would recommend that Florentino Perez signs him. If he doesn't sign for Real Madrid, he'll end up at Manchester City or Chelsea. He has to leave Tottenham to win trophies."
Modric reacted positively when told of Suker's comments, saying: "I am proud he thinks I could be a Real Madrid player. It's good. I thank him a lot for his words."