Manchester United face competition from clubs across Europe in the race to sign Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian starlet, dubbed 'the next Lionel Messi' in his homeland, has been earning rave reviews in the Prva HNL despite making just 12 senior league appearances for Dinamo Zagreb.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Kovacic made his Champions League bow against Real Madrid last night in-front of a Manchester United party, with representatives from Marseille and Valencia also in attendance.

Sir Alex Ferguson was also thought to have sent Red Devils scouts to watch the player over the weekend, when Kovacic came off the bench in a 1-1 draw against rivals Hajduk Split.

Jutarnji List goes on to report that Manchester United then requested tickets for last night's match, with the Barclays Premier League club thought to have their sights on both Kovacic and striker Mario Situm.

In last night's 1-0 defeat to Madrid, Kovacic played 62 minutes at the Stadion Maksimir and is generally reported to have impressed in-front of the watching Manchester United party.


 

Ferguson is renowned for bringing young talent to Old Trafford, and did so again this summer with David de Gea and Phil Jones both added to the Manchester United ranks.

Securing the signature of Kovacic, one of Europe's most wanted teenagers, would be an undoubted coup for the Red Devils and a move the club are clearly considering as the Manchester United scouting core works overtime in central Europe.

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