Real Madrid midfielder and Manchester United target has voiced his desire to leave the Bernabeu in search of more game time next season.
The Croat has been on the club’s radar for some time: Jose Mourinho expressed interest in the 24-year-old last summer and Sir Alex Ferguson scouted him as a 17-year-old at Dinamo Zagreb.
He has only started nine league games for the European champions since the turn of the year along with having to accept a place on the bench for Croatia at the World Cup so far.
Speaking soon after Croatia’s 3-0 win over Argentina, Kovacic made it clear that he wants to be starting games regularly next season.
“I want to play more and it’s best if I leave Madrid. I love football and being on the pitch, I want the chance to be a starter for another team,” he said. “If I don’t play, I’m not happy.”
Mourinho is on the lookout for a second midfield signing following the arrival of Fred – namely a young box-to-box midfielder. And there are no better available options out there than Kovacic: a beautiful passer of the ball, adept at reading the game, capable of handling the big occasion, full of energy and discipline, still just 24.
The only caveat, it seems, is that Mourinho already has his three starters in midfield for next season: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Fred. You can only hope that Kovacic will accept the prospect of sharing the load with Matic and having to fight for his place in the starting XI. He is, after all, good enough to start in almost any club team in the world.