Following the arrival of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month, Manchester United are in the market for a second central midfielder.
The retirement of Michael Carrick and impending departure of Marouane Fellaini left to gaps to fill over the summer with the Brazilian international being the first of those.
We have been linked to several central midfielders in recent weeks, most notably Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.
However, the latest report suggests that it is Kroos’ club teammate, Mateo Kovacic, who could be a Manchester United player by the end of the summer.
That is because TeamTalk are reporting that we are hoping to sign the Croatian international in a £65 million deal from the Champions League holders.
The central midfielder has been at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium since joining from Internazionale in 2015. However, he has failed to hold down a regular place in the first team during those three seasons and it appears the new manager isn’t going to make his future any brighter either.
Julen Lopetegui replaced the departing Zinedine Zidane just days before the 2018 World Cup kicked off before Kovacic went public last week to confirm he was looking to leave Real Madrid. The 24-year-old made only 10 starts in La Liga last season, completing the full 90 minutes just four times.
The news of Mateo Kovacic’s desire to leave the Spanish giants has alerted interest from us and other clubs around Europe. TeamTalk are citing a report in the Daily Mail that claims Jose Mourinho is looking to make a swoop for the Croatian after making his number one midfield target for the remainder of the summer.
It is believed that we are hoping to get a deal agreed around £65 million. Still a hefty price for a bit-part player at Real Madrid, but not astronomical in today’s market.
Mateo Kovacic looks after the ball well in the middle of the park and is both a good passer and dribbler. However, he does not get involved in too many goals as backed up by recording just one assist in 989 minutes of La Liga action last season.
We shall have to wait and see how things develop over the coming weeks as no deal is expected to happen whilst Kovacic is representing Croatia at the World Cup finals in Russia, but there’s no doubt he’d be an excellent addition to our squad and an upgrade on Fellaini should we get a deal agreed.
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