Manchester United are closing in on Real Madrid flop Mateo Kovacic. The midfielder had been on the radars of Tottenham and Liverpool during the preseason. However, it looks likely that Manchester United will land the player in January.
According to the English football media, Manchester United have agreed a £27 million fee to sign Kovacic. The 23-year-old has played just five times this season with all three of his La Liga appearances coming off the bench.
Real Madrid attempted to sell Kovacic during the summer to raise funds for the purchase of Kylian Mbappe. However, it seemed the Spanish side couldn’t get the fee they had hoped.
The deal for Kovacic looks dependant on the sale of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has been in Jose Mourinho’s doghouse for the better part of the last six weeks. The sale of Mkhitaryan should be enough to bring the Real Madrid flop, Kovacic, to Old Trafford.
Kovacic has appeared in the Champions League already this term and would therefore be cup-tied for the knockout stages.
Real Madrid signed Kovacic in August 2015 after two and a half season with Inter Milan. The player’s best season in Italy came in 2014-15 when he tallied five goals in 35 games. In the 18 months prior, he didn’t score a goal for the Nerazzurri. At the time of his sale to Real Madrid, Kovacic was seen as a young player with potential, but highly mistake prone. Inter admitted his sale was down to needing the funds at the time.
The Real Madrid flop has scored just two times while playing at the Bernabeu. Kovacic’s style of play is very much different than Mkhitaryan’s, and in the end, the moves would not be a like for like change.
Kovacic hasn’t played much this season for Real Madrid. He will need time to bed-in to Manchester United. In addition, it takes some players time to adapt to the Premier League. It is also unknown how he’d be used in Mourinho’s system. Mkhitaryan has struggled this term due to Mourinho’s tactics. The same could happen to Kovacic. Will he be played as a deep laying midfielder or more advanced? Don’t expect him to make a huge impact, if this deal goes through.