Reports: Real Madrid to buy £115 million playmaker with stunning swap deal in January
What's the story?
The press mills down at the Daily Star have gone bonkers after rumours spilled out of Spain that Real Madrid are ready to revert back to type and unleash themselves on the transfer market after an unusually quiet summer.
According to these rumours, which really, really, ought to be taken with a pinch of salt, Florentino Perez is all set to give Real Madrid's squad a massive boost in January by offering Mateo Kovacic on a swap deal to lure Dele Alli away from Tottenham Hotspur and to La Liga. With Daniel Levy likely to hold out for a fee in excess of £115 million for the talented young Englishman, Perez hopes that the inclusion of Kovacic in the deal will lower the price tag to a more manageable amount.
In case you didn't know
Mateo Kovacic is a criminally underrated midfielder whose transfer out from Internazionale (where he was the single most important player) hasn't really worked out for the Croat as he's been relegated to second choice behind countryman Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos.
Now sidelined with injury it appears that Dani Ceballos has stepped up to the mark with panache (he scored a brace against Alaves this weekend) and with Marcos Llorente too pushing for a place, Kovacic's chances may be even more restricted this season.
The heart of the matter
Rumours that Dele Alli is looking for a new agent - as ever, Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola are in the thick of things - and that is what has apparently piqued Perez's interest. Dele Alli is an A-list young superstar and he'd fit in perfectly into the galactico culture of the Spanish giants
Here's Alli at his finest:
And for comparison here are Kovacic's best bits:
Mateo Kovacic is an exceptional player and it is unlikely that Zidane will sanction such a sale - the Croat's reading of the game is excellent and his ability to dribble the ball out of the back - under high pressure from opponents - is unparalleled.
He would be a brilliant player for Pochettino and the loss of Dele Alli, if at all, wouldn't be felt as harshly as many would fear