Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly set to lock horns in pursuit of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the summer.
Spanish publication Diario Gol have reported that Mateo Kovacic is the subject of interest from Arsenal and Tottenham, who are set to go head-to-head in pursuit of the Real Madrid midfielder in the summer transfer window.
Kovacic was snapped up by Real Madrid from Inter Milan in the summer of 2015, but the Croat is yet to establish himself as a regular in the first-team setup at the Santiago Bernabeu. With the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Isco ahead of him in the pecking order, minutes have been hard to come by for the player.
In fact, Kovacic has started just 35 games since joining Real Madrid two years ago, with a further 38 appearances from the bench. The 23-year-old, though, is keen to become an indispensable member in the Croatian national side in next year’s World Cup and is, thus, keen to play regular football next season.
He is unlikely to become a regular fixture at Real Madrid and so, a summer exit from the Bernabeu is on the cards. And Kovacic is set to spark a battle for his services in North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham interested in signing him this summer.
At the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is keen to rebuild his squad in the summer transfer window to ensure that there’s no repeat of the failures in 2016/17 when the Gunners failed to finish in the Top 4.
Midfield is believed to be one of his priorities following the inconsistent performances from the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey.
Additionally, with Jack Wilshere’s future at the Emirates being uncertain, and Santi Cazorla has been troubled by a spate of injuries, the Arsenal boss needs to find a reliable and consistent partner for Granit Xhaka. Kovacic has, thus, emerged as one of his top targets.
Meanwhile, at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s is aiming to win the Premier League next season after they finished runners-up to Chelsea in 2016/17. And although, the Spurs boss has a strong midfield at his disposal, the fact that Eric Dier often drops deep into a back-three has prompted him to enter the market for a midfielder.
Hence, Kovacic is being considered to add to Pochettino’s options in midfield next season, alongside Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele. The North London duo also face competition from Italy for the player, with the likes of Inter, AC Milan and AS Roma vying for his signature as well.
So a transfer battle seems to be setting up for Kovacic, who looks likely to depart from the Bernabeu this summer. The Croatia international is likely to cost €30 million, a price that none of his suitors should have a problem shelling out. It now remains to be seen where Kovacic’s next destination lies.