Mateo Kovacic worked his way into a key role at Real Madrid during his compatriot Luka Modric’s injury layoff but since the latter’s return to fitness the former Inter Milan player has been back on the bench in recent weeks.
Kovacic in the cold again
Kovacic started eight games in October and November while his international teammate was sidelined but since the turn of the year he has been reduced to the role of a very occasional substitute, playing just 16 minutes of the last 360 available. That fleeting appearance came in the 4-1 victory over Eibar with the game already decided. Against Betis, Athletic and Napoli he was another spectator.
But the midfielder’s inaction in 2017 hasn’t prevented other European clubs from pondering a move. Kovacic was heavily linked with a return to Serie A last summer, with Milan, Roma and Juventus all credited with an interest. Now Tottenham may have emerged as a potential suitor according to reports in the UK.
Kovacic’s agent is to hold talks with Madrid at the end of the season over his client’s prospects at the Bernabéu and the club are likely to entertain offers in the region of 25 million euros for the 22-year-old. Spurs would like to reduce that fee to around 20 million and Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer of the player.
Real keen on Dele Alli
A slightly more far-fetched idea is that Real could try and include Kovacic in a potential deal for Dele Alli, Tottenham’s 19-year-old England international midfielder who has been drawing covetous eyes from across Europe. Madrid have been monitoring Alli’s situation for some time but face a tricky task to persuade Spurs to sell and even then the fee could be astronomical for a player who renewed his contract last year to run to 2022.