Ferguson compares Modric to Scholes
After Scholes' retirement last summer, Modric was on the Manchester United shortlist of potential replacements. In the end, Ferguson abandoned the quest, believing the Croatian midfielder was destined for Chelsea.
That deal did not happen, though, and tomorrow at White Hart Lane Modric goes head-to-head with Scholes, who abandoned his own retirement in January. "Scholes and Modric are both intelligent footballers," said Ferguson. "They both influence their teams as well so it is a reasonable comparison.
"I don't think they are identical players but they have the same qualities in terms of controlling a game. Their passing consistency is good and the one thing people underestimate about Modric is that he has terrific stamina."
Little wonder therefore that Ferguson was interested, and Chelsea as well. It was the Blues who thought they had snared their man, only for Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy to refuse Modric's request to leave and resist massive bids for a player he felt was pivotal to their chances of success.
Looking back, Ferguson believes keeping Modric helped shape what has turned into Tottenham's best season for decades. "The fact they decided to hold onto Modric against what everyone thought was a big Chelsea bid swung the players around," said Ferguson.
"That was an indication that they mean business and it has worked because they have had a great season. Up until three weeks ago they were playing the best football in the league."
It hardly takes an in-depth knowledge of the game to work out tomorrow's match represents the most difficult United will face until they travel to Manchester City on 30 April. Three points this weekend and United will be right in the hunt.
Even in the worst-case scenario of falling five behind, all hope will not be lost for the Red Devils. And Ferguson is certain that trip to the Etihad Stadium will end up being the title decider.
"It does look that way," he said. "It is going to be a massive game because you can't see City dropping a lot of points and you can't see us dropping a lot of points either. We are getting into consistent form now so it does point to that game."