Reports: AC Milan and Inter in shock €51m move for Real Madrid midfielder
Napoli are also interested in bringing Real Madrid's midfielder to Serie A
What’s the story?
Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is the subject of a tug-of-war between three Serie A giants, with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli interested in him, according to a report in Italian news outlet Corriere dello Sport (via AS). Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur have already had a €25 million bid rejected, and the newly cash-rich AC Milan and Inter are expected to only tempt Real Madrid into selling if for a fee in the range of €51 million.
In case you didn’t know
Real Madrid parted with €29 million to sign Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan in the summer of 2015 since the Nerazzurri’s hand was forced by their requirement of complying with Financial Fair Play rules introduced by UEFA. The Croatian has been unable to cement his place in the Real Madrid first XI ever since, with both Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane preferring to play him as a backup to Casemiro in defensive midfield.
The heart of the matter
Real Madrid’s signing of Dani Ceballos and recall of Marcos Llorente has reportedly unsettled Mateo Kovacic, with the Croatian unsure of his standing in the squad. Real Madrid have pursued the signings of Spanish youngsters this summer, and Kovacic fears that Zinedine Zidane might prefer to develop the Spanish youngsters over him, according to reports in the Spanish press.
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Inter Milan have grown increasingly nervous as AC Milan continue their spending spree. New manager Luciano Spalletti has requested the club to sign a central midfielder and bringing Mateo Kovacic back to the Giuseppe Meazza is high on the Nerazzurri’s priority list, not to mention that beating AC Milan and Napoli to a signing is sure to please their anxious fans.
Kovacic is ready to stay and fight for his place, though and the report states that the Croatian only seeks assurances of being given a fair chance by Zidane, failing which he will make a move back to Serie A.
Real Madrid now have 7 midfielders for 3 positions in central midfield, even with the departure of James Rodriguez to Bayern Munich. Kovacic is at an age where he must play regularly, not to mention that there is FIFA World Cup to take part in at the end of the season, where he faces great competition in the Croatian midfield too. A move back to the club where he came to the fore seems perfect, not to mention that Inter would play Kovacic in his favoured position.