Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovačić ha snot had the best debut season at Real Madrid.
Signed for €29million from Inter last summer, the 21-year-old has been limited to just seven league starts this season, coming on as a sub in a further fourteen.
He has been unable to take the place of either Toni Kroos or Croatian compatriot Luka Modrić in the Real midfield, and new manager Zinedine Zidane’s preference for Casemiro has meant that Kovačić has fallen further down the pecking order at the Bernabéu.
As such, Spanish daily publication AS are today reporting that Tottenham are ready to battle it out with Sevilla for the Croatian international in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will undoubtedly believe that, as they are more likely to be in the Champions League next season, they will have an advantage in the race to sign the player – which the report claims is likely to be a loan deal, as per Real’s wishes.
Kovačić arrived at Real at the beginning of the season with a reputation as one of the brightest prospects in Europe. He was linked with a move to Liverpool last season as a potential replacement for Steven Gerrard, before ultimately leaving Inter to move to the Spanish capital.
The versatile playmaker has 26 caps for the Croatian national side, including every group game at the 2014 World Cup as Niko Kovač’s side were disappointingly knocked out in the first round. He will almost certainly be part of the national squad for this summer’s European Championships, where a good performance may see another few suitors join the chase for his services.
Tottenham are apparently more keen on a permanent transfer rather than a temporary move. If that was to come to fruition, Real would almost certainly include a buy back clause in any agreement, such as the deals they reached with Leverkusen and Juventus for Dani Carvajal and Álvaro Morata respectively.
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