Manchester City have reportedly made an enquiry for wantaway Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who has emerged as an alternative to Jorginho.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Mateo Kovacic has emerged as an alternative to Jorginho for Manchester City. The Napoli man is now being courted by Chelsea. Meanwhile, the Croatian midfielder has expressed his desire to leave Real Madrid in this summer’s transfer window.
Kovacic has seen his career stutter considerably since joining Real Madrid from Inter Milan in the summer of 2015. The Croat was seen as a long-term solution in midfield for Los Blancos. But, with the trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos well settled as a formidable midfield trio, there has been very little game time coming Kovacic’s way.
Three years since joining Real Madrid, Kovacic remains a bit-part player, evidenced by the fact that he made just 18 starts last season. Things have, therefore, come to a head for the 24-year-old, who has expressed his desire to depart from the Bernabeu this summer. The announcement has piqued the interest of suitors, the latest being Manchester City.
The Premier League champions are reportedly in the market for a midfielder this summer. Jorginho has been their primary target thus far. In fact, Manchester City have even agreed personal terms with the Italian international, but have been unable to reach a consensus with Napoli over transfer fee.
With Manchester City’s pursuit of Jorginho running into troubled waters, it has been suggested that Chelsea could hijack the move for the midfielder. The Citizens are thus, having to identify alternatives, which has seen them turn their attention towards Real Madrid.
Manchester City’s need for a creative midfielder arises from the fact that David Silva is set to be phased out of the squad over the next few seasons. Apart from the Spaniard, Pep Guardiola has just Ilkay Gundogan to fill the void in midfield. A move to sign Kovacic from Real Madrid is thus, a viable contingency plan for the English champions.
The biggest hurdle for Manchester City will be persuading Real Madrid to sell. Los Blancos have, thus far, insisted that Kovacic is not for sale. But, if the player pushes for a move, Real Madrid’s hand could be forced, which could work in City’s favour.
One thing that remains to be seen is Real Madrid’s asking price for Kovacic, should they indeed be open to selling him. With a staggering €300 million release clause in his contract, it is likely that Manchester City will have to shatter their transfer record in order to secure the player’s services this summer.
Any possible move though, will have to wait till the end of Croatia’s World Cup campaign, where Kovacic has not been a regular thus far. The Croats play England on Wednesday for a place in the final. The player’s future at Real Madrid though, remains up in the air, with Manchester City now a possible destination.