Liverpool have been beaten to the capture of Inter Milan star Mateo Kovacic, despite having agreed personal terms with the player, according to reports.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Spanish giants Real Madrid have trumped their English counterparts by offering a deal worth around €40million, and are close to officially wrapping up a deal.
This comes after Liverpool had expressed a strong desire to sign him, although they couldn’t find an agreement with Inter as easily as they had done with Kovacic himself.
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Talks break down
The lack of accordance with the San Siro outfit might now have cost them, with Real sure to seal the deal having offered such a high sum. The deal breaks down to be worth around €35m up front, as well as including €5m in bonuses.
It might well be that Liverpool were simply not prepared to pay that sort of money, which is forgivable since Kovacic is only 21.
The Croatia international has become an important part of Inter’s side, but €35m is a lot to pay for a midfielder who isn’t yet the finished product.
Real move on
In any case Rafael Benitez clearly rates him highly. The interest from Los Blancos somewhat slipped under the radar until now, with it assumed by Gazzetta that this potential deal is one that has been worked on in secret.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will have to train his gaze elsewhere if he remains keen on adding another midfielder to his fold, though he could yet decide to keep Brazilian Lucas Leiva and negate the need to foray into the transfer market.
Liverpool fans, do you think Kovacic would have been a good player for you? Let us know in the comments box below.