Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly instructed his club to seal the transfer of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic in a somewhat surprise move.
Despite the Croatia international struggling to make much of an impact during his time at the Bernabeu, Don Balon claim Mourinho rates him highly and thinks he can get him playing at a far higher level at Old Trafford.
Kovacic was regarded as an exciting youngster during his Inter Milan days, prompting Real to snap him up in 2015/16, though he has since stalled due to a lack of playing time.
Still, the 23-year-old may have benefited from working with world class players and contributing in some small way to the club winning two Champions League titles and La Liga in the last two years.
United also urgently need a midfielder of his type due to the fact that club legend Michael Carrick will be retiring at the end of this season, while Marouane Fellaini is also due to be out of contract in the summer.
Kovacic is a similar style of player to Carrick and that kind of intelligence, work-rate and passing ability from deep could make him ideal as his successor.
Unlike many other top players in that position, Kovacic may also be available due to not being needed at Madrid.
Don Balon claim Mourinho also looked at Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto in that position before he signed a new contract at the Nou Camp.