Mateo Kovacic has long been linked to a move away from Real Madrid. Manchester City appeared to be his most likely destination, but the Spanish club has now slapped a price tag of €80M on him.
The Croatian was widely viewed as an alternative to Jorginho, who followed the footsteps of his Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri and joined Chelsea. Pep Guardiola was reportedly interested in having Kovacic over at the Etihad Stadium to perform the role of a deep-lying playmaker, but the price might cause concerns to the Qatar-backed club.
There were reports of Kovacic having a release clause of €50M but clearly, they were off the mark. He joined the Galacticos in 2015 and has since won 3 Champions League finals and will be playing in a World Cup final in a few hours, but he has failed to cement a fixed spot in the Madrid squad. His profile would have been perfect for Guardiola, but the former Barcelona manager will have to smash the club records to procure him now.
This summer, following an incredible title win, Guardiola has made only one purchase so far. Riyad Mahrez made the move from Leicester City to the blue half of Manchester for a cool €60M. The price, in itself, was a club record and as mentioned previously, the club will have to do better if they want the services of Kovacic.
The good thing for City is that they have also made around 25 million pounds through the sales of younger players like Angus Punn, Pablo Maffeo, and Angelino. As such, UEFA’s FFP should not be a huge headache for the club. However, the club’s management has reportedly decided to not chase players who jacked up their asking prices, which is why they did not go for Alexis Sanchez, Jorginho and even Mahrez in the first go. This stance is reportedly backed by Guardiola himself, so it remains to be seen how it affects their chase for Kovacic.
Keep watching this space for more.