Barcelona take lead in race to sign Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic

Aditya Devavrat 00:45 31/03/2019
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Luka Jovic is sure to have no shortage of suitors this summer.

Barcelona are leading in the race to sign Eintracht Frankfurt’s striking sensation Luka Jovic, according to a report in Marca.

The Spanish daily says that though Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and several other Premier League and Serie A sides are said to be interested in the Serbian, Barcelona have stolen a march on their rivals.

Jovic is currently at Eintracht on loan from Benfica, though the German club have an option to make that purchase permanent for just €8million at the end of the season.

They are certain to exercise that option, even if only to sell him on for a hefty profit in the summer, with the 21-year-old expected to fetch a transfer fee – 20 per cent of which will go to Benfica thanks to a sell-on clause already agreed with the Bundesliga club – of €80million.

Marca claim Barca scouts and other members of the club hierarchy have seen the striker play live over 20 times this season, an indication of their interest. Jovic’s agent has also met Barca general manager Pep Segura and technical secretary Eric Abidal.

However, the same report says Madrid have also recently met with the striker’s agent, Fali Ramadani, who also represents Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

Meanwhile, Bayern manager Niko Kovac is a former coach of Jovic’s, having been Eintracht manager for the previous two seasons before leaving to join Munich last summer. The striker has previously spoken glowingly of his former manager, and though Bayern are being heavily linked with a move with German forward Timo Werner, signing Jovic could still materialise.

In Italy, Napoli, Inter Milan and AC Milan have all reportedly registered their interest, while Arsenal and both Manchester clubs are said to be monitoring the striker along with Chelsea.

Barcelona view the player as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, who at 32 has already started showing signs of age affecting his game and fitness.

Jovic himself is said to be carefully considering his options, wary of rushing into a decision having had a tough start to life at Benfica when he joined the club in 2016.

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