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Rumour Mongering: Kovačić on the Move?

With Mateo Kovačić looking to end his Spanish adventure after only a single season, could Liverpool be tempted to make another run at the Croatian midfielder?

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Liverpool have been linked with central midfielders all summer; Piotr Zieliński, Mahmoud Dahoud, Rúben Neves and Héctor Herrera have all been mentioned, and only the former seems to have any staying power. Thus, rumours that former midfield target Mateo Kovačić is looking for a way out of Madrid should have the transfer committee on alert. The 22-year old struggled for minutes this season - as most players would when trying to break up the duo of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos - and made only eight league starts all year. Accumulating a mere 1400 minutes in all competitions, he scored a single goal and contributed two assists.

Now, according to Gazzetta, Kovačić - who was a regular starter for Internazionale only a year ago - understandably wants to move on, but Real Madrid aren't interested in a loan deal, and are looking to at least recoup the €30m they paid for the Croatian international last summer. Roma are being linked, but are unlikely to want to match their club record fee, and, despite making the Champions League this season, would be unable to compete with the Reds in terms of wages.

Kovačić - currently in France for the Euros - at his best would offer something the Liverpool squad is lacking; genuine creativity from central midfield. Comfortable both in the double pivot and as a shuttler in a midfield three, the Austrian-born technician is at his best when carrying the ball through midfield, sliding past opposition players with his head up, looking for the telling ball. He has a tremendous passing range, and does a great job of mixing up short, simple passes with more ambitious slide rule or crossfield balls when appropriate. While no box-to-box player, he doesn't shirk away from defensive responsibility, and will consistently contribute three or more ball recoveries per 90 minutes.

This link is currently quite tenuous and based mostly on the fact that Liverpool have shown an interest in the past and that the player is looking to move, with journalists connecting the rest of the dots. Nonetheless, the club is clearly looking to upgrade on the very position Kovačić excels in, and if the player can be convinced to switch leagues for the third time in three years, this is absolutely a deal Liverpool should be looking to make.

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