According to reports coming from Gazzetta Dello Sport, Liverpool have emerged as the surprise candidates to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
However, if the Reds are to sign the Croatian midfielder, they will have to get the better of Italian side Roma, which is also in pursuit of Kovacic.
Real Madrid signed Kovacic from Inter Milan last summer for €29 million, but after paying his wages for just one season, Los Blancos are deeming the midfielder surplus of their future plans.
With the likes of Kroos and Modric also at the helm – and the unexpected rise of Casemiro last term, game time was limited for Kovacic at Real Madrid last season.
Looking at his suitors and both Roma and Liverpool have emerged as the front-runners for his signature. Roma were confident of tying up the deal early on, but the arrival of Liverpool in the race to sign Kovacic might make matters complicated for the Italian side.
Although Liverpool have the likes of Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, and Joe Allen in their midfield, it is expected that Jurgen Klopp might sell the latter two in a bid to reorganize his Liverpool squad.
However, while that would certainly make space for a new midfielder, the transfer fee that Real Madrid are demanding for Kovacic might put the Reds off.
While they paid €29 million to secure his services, Real Madrid are adamant that they will not sell the Croatian any less than what they paid for him last summer.
Thus, if the Reds are to secure the services of the highly rated Croatian without Champions League football, they would have to make a substantial bid to fend off Roma.