Manchester City will react quickly to Jorginho’s decision to join Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea by turning to Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, The Times reports.
Kovacic, 24, was one of two alternative targets briefed to the press by City in June along with Southampton’s Mario Lemina, and despite being less defensive than Jorginho, has the technical attributes Pep Guardiola admires in a player.
Mateo Kovacic has attempted 88 passes in 102 minutes at the 2018 World Cup, misplacing just two of them.
97.73% pass accuracy as it stands. pic.twitter.com/xzsR0rYHgy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 27, 2018
According to The Times, City inquired more than a week ago about Kovacic’s availability. Real Madrid are not overly keen on selling the 2018 World Cup finalist, but he has publicly stated that he’d like a move.
Potentially smoothing Kovacic’s exit is Real Madrid’s move for Lazio sensation Sergej Milinković-Savić, who Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Italia reports could be heading to the Bernabéu in a €100million deal, with super-agent Jorge Mendes trying to make that happen.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 11, 2018
Kovacic has made 109 appearances in his three seasons at Madrid, winning the Champions League three times, but with countryman Luka Modric occupying one of Europe’s best midfields, has not yet been able to command a regular starting place.
City would presumably look to deploy him in a deep midfield role given their plethora of attacking midfield options, meaning he could expect plenty of game time at the Etihad Stadium, with 33-year-old Fernandinho overworked last season and Yaya Touré now gone from the club.