Manchester City are pursuing Mateo Kovacic this summer but are unwilling to match the £80 million asking price Real Madrid are demanding for the Croatian.

Sky Sports are reporting that Manchester City are baulking at the reported £80 million price tag set by Real Madrid for Croatian midfielder, Mateo Kovacic. City are in the market for a central midfielder and have their sights set on the Croatian International midfielder as they look to strengthen their Premier League winning squad.

Even though Kovacic hasn’t been a natural first choice for club or country for the last few seasons, Real Madrid are adamant on the £80 million price tag they have set for the midfielder. Madrid are looking for top value for their midfielder despite making no guarantees of an assured starting spot in the coming season.

Kovacic has acknowledged the fact that he still might be harbouring doubts of a starting place in the next season, as Real Madrid still possess some of the best midfielders in the world in fellow Croatian Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro. Like many other players in the club, Kovacic too expressed his desire to leave Madrid after their Champions League victory back in May.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 01: Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Bayern Muenchen at the Bernabeu on May 1, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Despite being at Real Madrid for three whole seasons, Mateo Kovacic is yet to convince the club he could be a regular starter. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

Kovacic did play an essential role at Real Madrid last season, making 36 appearances across all competitions. In all, since he moved from Inter Milan in August 2015, Kovacic has gone on to play 109 times in all competitions for Real. The midfielder is now seeking a change, with many admirers across Europe, with Manchester City considered the favourites.

As for Manchester City, Kovacic has not been their primary midfield target, instead is considered a strong alternative to new Chelsea signing Jorginho. For the entirety of this summer, City have been chasing Jorgino’s signature from Napoli and had even agreed on a deal with Napoli.

Chelsea were a late entrant in the market for Jorginho and managed to strike a deal with Napoli to secure his signature as well as that of their former boss, Maurizio Sarri. After losing the Jorginho battle, City were thought to be on the trails of Kovacic, but now it seems they are out of the race to sign the Croatian as well, considering the mammoth price tag on his head.

Set to don the reds of Manchester United? (Photo courtesy - Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Mateo Kovacic was a key member of the Croatian side that reached the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. (Photo courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

City boss, Pep Guardiola is seemingly happy with his current options in midfield and is thought to not mind losing the Kovacic battle. City, however, recently signed Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez in a club record deal worth £60 million and Guardiola feels they have enough quality on their hands for the next season.

As for Kovacic, there will be hardly any club willing to match Real’s valuation of the player, and more so for a player who is not even considered an automatic starter for his club.

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