It wouldn’t be summer without Manchester United being linked to at least one Real Madrid player. If it isn’t Gareth Bale, or Toni Kroos, then there’s always Cristiano Ronaldo. In fairness, United have held genuine interest in all three players over the years, and whilst deals have never materialised, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been without merit. There’s also Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marco Asensio to add into that list, too.
Time to add another player according to this report in the Daily Mail. United’s need to bolster its options in midfield is well known, with Michael Carrick retiring at the end of this season past, and Marouane Fellaini expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June. Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred has already been purchased for a fee reportedly a little south of £50m, but United are reportedly interested in adding another quality option to their ranks in the form of Real’s Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian, who is currently on World Cup duty with his national side in Russia is said to be frustrated by the lack of game time afforded to him since his transfer from Inter Milan in 2015, and would be willing to leave the Bernabeu if necessary.
Kovacic’s flexibility and ability to play either in midfield or the left might be of use to Jose Mourinho, given United’s issues in getting the best out of both Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez on the left flank. That option would potentially make more sense than a permanent role in midfield, where the club is currently well-stocked and will likely start next season with the trio of Nemanja Matic, Fred and Paul Pogba. There’s a chance that Kovacic might end up trading clubs and find himself in the same situation in terms of game time, but should United wish to prise him away from the Spanish capital, you would assume that Mourinho would have a plan in mind for him.