Mateo Kovacic may want to leave but Real Madrid would be wise to keep hold of midfielder

Tom Biggs 25/07/2018
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MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 01: Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Bayern Muenchen at the Bernabeu on May 1, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

With the World Cup finished, the summer transfer window is now starting to heat up, as managers look to bring in additions to their squads ahead of the start of the 2018/19 campaign.

Plenty of big names have been linked with switches, and with that in mind, we’re taking a closer look at some of Europe’s most in-demand stars.

Next up, we’re taking a look at Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic


Linked to: Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and Roma

Price tag: £45 million

Kovacic has reportedly told Julen Lopetegui that he would like to leave Real Madrid in search of regular first-team football.

The 24-year-old will once again be behind Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in Los Blancos’ pecking order, and with a host of Premier League clubs interested, the Croatian could be on the move at the right time to reignite his career.

With plenty of competition in midfield, Mateo Kovacic has had to settle for a spot on the bench regularly

With plenty of competition in midfield, Mateo Kovacic has had to settle for a spot on the bench regularly

At least three of England’s top clubs are reportedly keen, with Arsenal and Tottenham seemingly the most likely destinations, as both Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino look for midfield reinforcements.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with Steven Nzonzi, but his age and asking price may mean they switch their attentions to Kovacic, while Pochettino could look to the former Dinamo Zagreb man should Belgium midfielder Mousa Dembele depart this summer.

Kovacic is well known in Italy from his time at Internazionale, and with Miralem Pjanic rumoured to be on the way out at Juventus, and Radja Nainggolan already departing Roma for Inter, both Serie A clubs could make a move for Kovacic.

Mateo Kovacic (l) has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at Real Madrid

Mateo Kovacic (l) has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at Real Madrid

The three-time Champions League winner has made 109 appearances for Real Madrid in his three seasons at the Bernabeu, but has regularly missed out on the bigger games under previous boss Zinedine Zidane.

However, with Modric turning 33 later this year, Lopetegui may well fight to keep hold of Kovacic, who has long been touted as the ideal replacement for his fellow countryman at the heart of Madrid’s midfield.

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PSG winger Goncalo Guedes turns down Premier League move as he eyes Valencia return

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Guedes enjoyed a fruitful season at Valencia.

Paris Saint-Germain winger Goncalo Guedes, who spent last season on loan at Valencia, wants a return to the La Liga outfit and has turned down a move to the Premier League.

That’s despite the Ligue 1 champions reportedly having agreed to a transfer with an unnamed English club, according to Cadena Ser. Arsenal had been heavily linked with the Portugal star.

Guedes enjoyed a fruitful season with Valencia, becoming an instant hit as the club finished fourth in the league to secure a Champions League qualifying spot.

The 21-year-old is not in new PSG manager Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the upcoming season, and the club were looking to offload him. He’s been left behind to train in Paris while the team travelled to Singapore for preseason fixtures against Arsenal and Atletico Madrid.

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Chelsea face competition for Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain from AC Milan

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Gonzalo Higuain has been earmarked by Maurizio Sarri to lead his new-look Chelsea attack – but they may need to act fast as AC Milan lurk for the Juventus striker.

In a report by the London Evening Standard, talks have apparently already taken place between the Rossoneri and Juventus, who are looking to shift the Argentina striker now that Cristiano Ronaldo has moved to Turin.

Either Chelsea or Milan will have to stump up around £57 million for the 30-year-old – he has scored 55 goals in 105 appearances since making the move from Napoli two years ago.

The transfer triangle could take another twist, too, as it is understood that the Blues have sounded out Milan teenage stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma as a replacement should Thibaut Courtois leave for Real Madrid.

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