Real Madrid have opened talks with Liverpool target Mateo Kovacic’s representatives as they look to bring in the highly rated 20 year old in the summer.
Reports in March were doing rounds that Liverpool were interested in the highly rated 20 year old Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian international is currently on duty with the national side at Brazil and plays for Serie A side Inter Milan. He is a midfielder who is naturally a playmaker and a typical no. 10, but modified his game with the Italian side as he was asked to play as a deep-lying playmaker or a regista.
Kovacic was brought in January 2012 from Dinamo Zagreb by Inter’s then manager Andrea Stramaccioni as a direct replacement for Wesley Sneijder. He was 19 years old at the time and such is his pedigree, that he replaced Sneijder in the starting 11 and was handed over the No. 10 shirt by the club. He was brought in to the Inter camp in January, and settled very quickly. Stramaccioni hailed his performances time and again and went on to say, ‘He’s a player to be managed carefully for the moment and a certain star for the future.’
However, with a change in management, Kovacic got far lesser game-time in the 13/14 season and there were reports doing rounds through the latter part of the campaign that the player was discontent with the chances he was getting at the Italian club. There was a supposed fall-out with manager Walter Mazzarri and the Croatian’s agent revealed that the 20 year old was unhappy. ‘Everybody is confused as to why Mateo is not playing. Is there a row with Mazzarri? I can’t say a lot, but he is not happy.’
However, in April, Kovacic clarified that he wanted to stay at the club and the anger he felt was ‘positive anger’.
‘I like it here. Italian football is very difficult, there’s not a lot of space like in England or Spain but you learn different things such as how to defend and tactics, which are very important. This is a process. I’ve spoken to more experienced players and they told me it’s normal. It’s normal I was angry when I wasn’t playing, that’s normal for any player who’s out of the team but it was positive anger’, said the Croatian international
Regardless, there were heavy links of interest in the Croat from Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Borrusia Dortmund and Real Madrid, most notably from the first and last in the list. Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Liverpool were eying the playmaker as late as later last month. More reports have done round since. Brendan Rodgers stated his desire to bring in multi-dimensional players and identified Kovacic as someone who fills that bracket.
However, the highly trusted Italian football journalist Gianluca DiMarzio has said on his website that Jose Angel Sanchez, who runs Real Madrid’s transfer market, held a meeting with the player’s agent and his Italian representative Mario Mamic and Beppe Bozzo respectively. Real would be willing to up to €20-25m for the Croatian player. Inter chief Erick Thohir doesn’t want the player to leave the club but an offer of this kind could allow him to part services with the Croatian prodigy. With Liverpool’s offered sum reported to be £8m, Real would definitely be able to swoop the player and add him to their ranks. The Merseyside club would have to act fast if they want the midfielder as beating Real’s interest could be hard. As for the player’s point of view, he would get more game time at Liverpool as incoming players as young as Kovacic don’t usually get enough playing minutes with the La Liga giants because Real already have enough experienced men to do the job for the club. Kovacic would be one for the future at Real, while he could help Liverpool’s title challenge as well as their comeback at the Champions League if he moves to the Premier League club.