Real Madrid closing in on Inter Milan's Mateo Kovacic
Reports from Italy suggest that Real Madrid are very close to signing Croatian international Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan for a reported fee of €35-million according to Goal. The player who was also targeted by Liverpool has supposedly agreed personal terms with Real Madrid.
The youngster has been brilliant for Inter Milan at the San Siro over the course of two and a half seasons, and will be looking to do the same at the Santiago Bernebau under Rafael Benitez.
The 21-year old who could soon be linking up with his fellow countryman Luka Modric, is rumoured to have verbally agreed a five-year deal with Real Madrid that will see him earn €4-million per season.
Kovacic scored five times in 35 Serie A appearances last season, and was pursued by many top European clubs amongst whom were Serie A rivals AC Milan, and Premier League’s Liverpool.
Liverpool seemed very likely on signing the player, but the pressure cooled down after the Reds were able to sign Brazilian youngster Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim.
Although Inter had said that they would not be willing to sell the player, the lure of the Spanish giants might have been hard to ignore.
Benitez who has already seen what the Croatian is capable of, will be bringing him in to provide much-needed support in midfield. Los Blancos were generally dependant on Luka Modric to fill in the position at central midfield, but due to his injury last season the team was exposed in that area.
The Spanish coach has been trying to find a player to fill the position by going after players like Arturo Vidal and William Carvalho, but had to settle with Kovacic due to the unavailability of the prior.
Kondogbia to replace Kovacic and Illarramendi to Liverpool
Inter Milan have already found their replacement for Kovacic in newly signed French professional Geoffrey Kondogbia. The Nerazzurri will be looking to reinvest the money earned from Kovacic’s sale in recruiting a new striker, midfielder, and a left-back.
Madrid, on the other hand, will be trying to offload midfielders Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi. Illarramendi though looks more likely on his way out, after being pushed down the pecking order, and receiving interest from Liverpool.
While most of Madrid’s transfer activity seems to be done, they still need to agree on a deal for David De Gea, who seems insistent on leaving Manchester United before the end of the transfer season.