Mateo Kovacic is reportedly being chased by two Premier League clubs – as both West Ham United and Everton have been offered offered his services by Real Madrid ahead of the new season.
Kovacic completed a £23.25m transfer to Madrid just last summer, but things have never really got going for the 22-year-old. He was able to make make 25 appearances for Los Blancos, but couldn’t cement himself a starting place in the middle of the park due to the inspirational form shown by his international teammate Luka Modric and World Cup winner Toni Kross.
Brought to the club by then-manager Rafa Benitez from Inter Milan, the Croatian box to box midfielder is also rumoured to have received interest from Serie A champions Juventus. However, it is thought that he would prefer a move to the Premier League – as, having struggled for games alongside Madrid’s cast of superstars, Kovacic sees England as a place where he could flourish.
After a season that saw him repeatedly in and out of the team at Madrid, Kovacic then failed to feature much in Croatia’s run to the knockout rounds of Euro 2016 before they lost to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side. Despite his lack of action for both club and country, Real are adamant that they will not let him go for less than £30m according to the Daily Mail as they look to make a profit from his sale.
That amount will seem a lot to both Ronald Koeman and Slaven Bilic even with today’s inflated transfer prices, especially given his lack of game time for both club and country.
However, the good news for both managers is that Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is also open to the idea of letting him leave the Santiago Bernabéu on loan, in an effort to give the young maestro more time on the pitch than he would get sat on Madrid’s bench for another season.