Liverpool’s interest in Mateo Kovacic is pretty serious, according to reports in Italy. The Merseysiders have not been deterred after their a 10m bid for the midfielder for turned down and returned with a a 18m offer.

According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, the Reds are very keen on signing the Croatia player.

Inter Milan signed the midfielder for a 16m so naturally, they are holding out for more money and want to make a profit on the talented Croatian. It has been reported that they will accept a bid near the a 25m (A?18m) mark.

Kovacic has been considered as one of the brightest players in European football and has been linked with a move to Barcelona time and again. He was considered the future of Inter, but in the second part of last season, he fell a little out of favor with Roberto Mancini and found himself among the substitutes a lot of times.

Inter want funds for their own signings as they hope they find themselves in the top 3 or 4 next season. Mancini’s reported targets include Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, Liverpool’s Lucas and Martin Skrtel, Bayern Munich’s Mehdi Benatia. Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has also been identified as the man to replace Samir Handanovic.

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Kovacic vs Henderson (per 90) via Squawka

The 21 year-old has been regarded as his nationa s next great No. 10. He is a classic playmaker with amazing attacking threat, but at the same time he has the immense potential to play ahead or behind that role. He can play anywhere in the midfield, in the centre, behind the striker or on even on the flanks, if asked to. The 21 year-old started of as an attacking midfielder, but he has transformed his game in Inter, playing like a regista . or a deep-lying playmaker.

Liverpool’s interest in Kovacic seems strong as they desperately require an upgrade on their existing midfield. With Steven Gerrard’s departure, the need to address a somewhat old problem has only increased. We see in the above comparison how Kovacic has outdone Henderson in every department, except for assists which could be pointed to the significant difference in total time played in the league.

It seems that this is one transfer that could take place this summer. However, the Reds would have to shell out about a 22m (A?15m) to a 25m (A?18m) to make that happen. They will also have to fight Barcelona for his signature as the Catalans want the player to replace Xavi.