Liverpool are ready to make a summer swoop for Manchester United target Mateo Kovacic, reports suggest.
According to The Metro, the Reds - long-term admirers of the Inter Milan midfielder - have been alerted by the news that Kovacic is unhappy at the San Siro and manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to push forward with an £8 million move for his services.
19-year-old Kovacic joined Serie A giants Inter from Prva HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb last January, making a considerable impact and appearing to flourish in Italy during his first few months in the country.
However, the Croatian international - who already has eight senior caps to his name - has seen his playing time diminish somewhat since Walter Mazzarri replaced Andrea Stramaccioni in the dugout prior to the start of the 2013/14 campaign.
Although Kovacic has still featured on 25 occasions for Inter in Serie A this season, many of those were cameos from the substitute's bench and the player's agent told reporters this week that 'everyone was confused why Mateo is not playing.'
Such a lack of regular starts has seen transfer speculation concerning Kovacic circulate for a little while now, with Manchester United - among others - said to be willing to bring him to the Premier League.
Liverpool - who have little time to rest following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Sunderland on Wednesday as they welcome Tottenham to Anfield this weekend - are in the midst of a truly brilliant season, with Brendan Rodgers guiding his talented team to second place in the Premier League table with just a few games remaining.
While their attacking lineup - spearheaded by the superb duo of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez - is undoubtedly the strongest area of the squad, Liverpool do appear to have preciously little by way of quality strength in depth and could surely be on the lookout for talented new recruits this summer.
Manchester United, in stark contract to their fiercest rivals, have endured a nightmare first season under David Moyes and are now going to have to win this season's Champions League in order to qualify for the tournament next year.
It is barely even a matter for debate if Moyes plans to strengthen during the next transfer window, with the Manchester United boss expected to be given sustantial funds with which to invest in transforming his disappointing and under-strength squad.
There is presumably no area of the squad at Old Trafford that is not expected to be given due care and attention as part of this long overdue process, and Kovacic's potential and attacking versatility could make him a very attractive proposition indeed.
If they do intend to sign him, however, then they will obviously need to move fast with Liverpool seemingly poised.