Since joining the La Liga outfit in 2015, the Croatian has struggled for minutes on the pitch and is said to be keen for a move away from the Bernabeu to rectify that.
Jose Mourinho is understood to be an admirer of the midfielder who is intrigued by the prospect of playing in the Premier League.
Here, we look at three reasons why he should indeed consider making the switch.
TIME FOR HIM TO SHINE
Kovacic was just 16 when he made his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb and only 20 when he left Inter Milan for Madrid as one of the most promising midfielders in Europe.
However, his development has stunted since with the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco ahead of him in the pecking order at the Bernabeu. With the national team as well, the duo of Modric and Ivan Rakitic has confined him to the bench.
At 23, the Croatian has spent enough time in the shadow of his team-mates. He needs to step into the spotlight and Old Trafford is one of the grander stages to do just that. Make it with the Reds and he’ll immediately be propelled to the upper echelons of midfielders in Europe.
FITS INTO THE SYSTEM
Paul Pogba has always played his best football in a midfield three with a single pivot but in the absence of another central midfielder Mourinho is happy with, the Frenchman has had to play alongside Nemanja Matic behind an attacking midfielder.
Kovacic’s arrival could bring a new dimension to the team though. Played alongside Pogba ahead of Matic, the Croatian would enjoy the freedom to exploit the space in behind the striker.
Despite Jesse Lingard’s recent upturn in form, Mourinho hasn’t settled on a No10 all season with the likes of the Englishman, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Pogba and most recently Alexis Sanchez occupying that position.
It would make sense to remove that dilemma altogether by switching the system and perhaps even bringing a more fluid style in the process.
Kovacic has excellent vision is always alert to the opportunity for a throughball. His weight off passes are virtually flawless as well but he isn’t a midfield orchestrator in the mould of Kroos or Michael Carrick.
What he does excel at though is carrying the ball forward from midfield. His pace and driving runs create openings right through the heart of the opposition and United certainly need more of that.
His high-energy style suits the Premier League as well and the fact that he is excellent at receiving, turning and holding on to the ball should help him cope with the intensity of England’s top flight.
He’s not particularly gifted in the air but surely United are covered on that front.
Manchester United are understood to be interested in Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
The Premier League club have been monitoring the Croatia international’s situation at the Santiago Bernabeu according to Spanish newspaper AS.
The reports suggests that the 23-year-old is seriously considering a switch to Old Trafford if he is guaranteed playing time under Jose Mourinho.
Minutes on the pitch have been hard to come by for Kovacic who joined the Madridistas in 2015.
United will however face competition from the likes of Tottenham, Juventus and Inter Milan for the midfielder’s signature.
Madrid though would be reluctant to part with Kovacic but given their documented pursuit of David de Gea, they may be willing to negotiate with United.
“I have heard the rumours but I haven’t spoken to (Jose) Mourinho,” Kluivert said to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
“A move to Manchester United wouldn’t make sense, for now.”
Reports on Sunday had suggested that the two clubs would finalise a transfer by the end of this season, after Mourinho was spotted giving words of encouragement to Kluivert at the end of United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in last season’s Europa League final.
The United manager has known Kluivert since the 18-year-old was a boy, when his father and Dutch star Patrick Kluivert was at Barcelona during Mourinho’s tenure as an assistant coach there.
Mourinho himself poured cold water over the rumours. While not addressing speculation about Kluivert directly, Mourinho said after United’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Saturday that he would not be looking to sign any attacking players in the summer.
“We have (Juan) Mata, (Romelu) Lukaku, (Marcus) Rashford, (Anthony) Martial, (Jesse) Lingard, and Alexis (Sanchez), so I don’t want attacking players. So if you want to speculate in the summer you have to go to other areas because I’m really happy with the attacking players.
“It’s bad for you (the media) because you like to have things to write and speculate, especially in the summer, but I don’t want attacking players so don’t speak about attacking players that are coming here because nobody is coming here.”