Having irritated Arsenal by expressing an interest in captain Robin van Persie in March, Mancini has now risked doing the same to North London's other Premier League club by praising their star midfielder.
Modric, who last summer demanded a transfer to Chelsea before ultimately staying at White Hart Lane, has caught Mancini's eye with his fine performances this season.
However, the City boss admits convincing Tottenham to sell the Croatia international could prove a difficult task.
"Luka Modric is an outstanding footballer, a great player," Mancini is quoted in The Sun. "He is definitely one of the best in the Premier League.
"But it is by no means easy to get him because he plays for a big club, Tottenham. It is unlikely that they would let him leave."