Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a sensational summer move to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic as an alternate option to Marco Verratti.
Spanish publication Don Balon have sensationally claimed that Barcelona are looking for a shock move to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian is being viewed by Ernesto Valverde & co. as an alternate option to Marco Verratti, who remains the prime target for the Catalan giants.
Mateo Kovacic arrived at Real Madrid amidst much expectations and has done a commendable job, despite often playing second fiddle to the more regular options in the form of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro. The 23-year-old managed 39 appearances this season – 27 of them coming in La Liga alone.
And while his return of 2 goals and 3 assists may not exactly shine through, the midfielder did his job brilliantly, nullifying the opposition’s threat and restoring calmness in the middle of the park, enabling his other more attack-minded partners to venture forward.
Indeed, Kovacic has managed to establish himself in the first-team setup at the Bernabeu – a theory backed by the aforementioned statistic. However, Real Madrid are now linked with additions in the middle of the park, which may threaten his position at the Bernabeu.
Mateo Kovačić’s 2016/17 LaLiga season by numbers:
91% pass acc.
46 tackles won
10 through balls
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 25, 2017
While Kovacic has mostly been linked to a move to Italy, with AC Milan tailing the player for a while, Barcelona have emerged as a shock destination, according to the reports. The Catalans are pursuing Marco Verratti ferociously and it looks like they may just be able to land the PSG superstar.
However, in case Verratti opts to stay at Parc des Princes, Ernesto Valverde is seeking a move for Kovacic to beef up the midfield. Valverde has asked the club hierarchy to sanction a move for the Croatian.
Although, Kovacic is widely seen by Real Madrid as the true heir to Luka Modric, who, though, has asked the club to sign Ante Coric as his successor in the middle of the park. The 23-year-old though, looks comfortable at the Bernabeu and is unlikely to risk his growing importance by asking for a move to their arch-rivals.
Barcelona have been linked to Isco as well, who also looks unlikely to join the Catalans. Hence, it seems Valverde will have to put all his eggs in one basked and hope Verratti agrees to a move to Nou Camp. Else, the Catalans must find a suitable alternate target, having potentially faced rejection in their pursuit of Ander Herrera, Isco and others.