By Dave Marshall
According to reports in the Spanish media, Real Madrid midfielder, Mateo Kovacic could be the subject of a £27m bid from Manchester United in the January transfer window. The Croatian international has struggled to nail down a starting berth in the middle of the park for the European champions, as he has failed to usurp the trio of Kroos, Modric and Casemiro.
Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho sees the 23-year-old as a potential replacement for Armenian international, Henrikh Mkhitaryan whose form has gone downhill in recent months. The Sun report that United are looking at a £27m bid to prise him from Madrid, who still see him as the long-term replacement for compatriot, Modric.
Kovacic may be willing to leave Santiago Bernabeu in a bid to be in top shape for the World Cup with his national team who have been drawn alongside Nigeria, Argentina and fellow Europeans, Iceland. Mkhitaryan, despite only joining our club last summer, is reportedly ready to leave The Theatre of Dreams as his relationship with Jose Mourinho has been topsy-turvy ever since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.
Mourinho has confirmed that a number of unhappy players are free to leave next month, which many seem as a signal for Mkhitaryan’s potential exit. The speculation surrounding the future of Marouane Fellaini coupled with the over-dependence on Paul Pogba, as well as the poor form of Ander Herrera means that we need a quality signing in the centre of midfield.
Kovacic is a similar player to Pogba, as he moves a lot with the ball and can pick out a pass even in the tightest of spaces. He joined Madrid in the summer of 2015 from Inter Milan in a £25m deal, and has won The Champions League in his two seasons in the Spanish capital.
Kovacic is a central midfielder known for his trickery, passing, vision and awareness of what goes on around him. He will offer us quality in the central midfield department as he can also play as a central attacking midfielder, a position he played regularly at Inter Milan. This season, he has managed to feature 7 times for the Zinedine Zidane tutored side, scoring none and creating just a solitary goal, though he has totaled only 154 minutes of action.