The press in Italy have spent much of the past month insisting that Inter Milan’s 21-year-old midfielder Mateo Kovacic was on the verge of a Liverpool move. And those in the English media with ties to the club have spent much of the past month scratching their heads at this seeming insistence, with every source on the Liverpool end claiming the club weren’t interested.
Now, things seem to have resolved themselves. At least for the time being. That’s because fresh reports out of Italy now claim that Liverpool have abandoned their chase of Kovacic, which puts both sets of journalists in agreement for the first time in the ongoing not-quite-saga—even if they’ve taken very different roads to get to the same place. Namely that Mateo Kovacic won’t be a Liverpool player next season.
Italy’s SportMediaset claim that the potential deal has fallen apart despite Liverpool having agreed terms in principle with the player due to an unwillingness of either club to budge on their final valuation. Liverpool are said to have topped out with an offer of £15M while Inter have been unwilling to move off their £21M valuation of the deep lying playmaker. They believe, though, that Inter still wants to sell Kovacic.
That’s because Inter have gone out and bought defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and would appear to need to balance the books or risk the wrath of UEFA, who have already sanctioned the Italin side for FFP noncompliance. And that, in turn, makes it look like all the noise in the Italian press about Liverpool’s interest in Kovacic may have been nothing more than Inter trying to drum up a bidding war.
Throughout it all, journalists with ties to Liverpool have repeatedly insisted there was no interest in Kovacic. For Inter, though, if any clubs who were interested in him believed that interest existed, it could have driven them to up their bid in order to get a deal done quickly. But if that was the goal, it appears to have not worked as planned, and now Inter look to have given up on the charade.
Or, according to the Italian press, Liverpool have given up on their Kovacic chase. No matter how you get there, though, the sum of it all seems to be that Mateo Kovacic to Liverpool isn’t going to happen.