And he now plans to test Tottenham's resolve.
Spurs do not want to sell Modric but a top White Hart Lane source says a deal will be inevitable.
He said: "The word is that Sir Alex has already spoken directly to Harry and said how much he admires Modric and how much he wants him.
"And as much as Harry wants to keep him he knows United can make an offer we just can't refuse.
"So Harry's busy now trying to do the Joe Cole deal to bring in a new playmaker to compensate for the expected departure of Luka."