No intention of selling Kovacic: Sanchez

By: Aveek Chakraborty

Mateo Kovacic

Bengaluru December 2: Real Madrid General Director Jose Angel Sanchez has confirmed that they have no intention of selling midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the January transfer window and already rejected the bids from the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs and Inter Milan in the Summer.

Kovacic made a switch from Inter Milan for £28m in August 2015. However he has been restricted to the substitutes' bench for most part. He is contracted to the Spanish side until 2021, but his lack of playing time has seen him linked to several clubs.

The 23-year-old has made only 54 appearances in La Liga, just 27 as a starter. However since last year he has become an integral part of Zinedine Zidane's set up. The versatile Croatian is capable of playing in attacking or defensive roles in the middle of the park and often been used as a super sub as well as deputy to midfield generals Kroos and Modric.

However, with World Cup on the horizon, it is believed that a January move in search of regular first-team football could be on the cards for Kovacic and to make the most of this situation many top clubs are expected to be interested over a possible approach.

Top clubs like Spurs were linked with the 24-year-old heavily in the summer so as his former club Inter Milan and newly cash-rich AC Milan. However, according to Sanchez, the Real Madrid general director, Madrid right now are not looking to sell the Croatia international in January and believes that Kovacic knows that he has a place in the club’s future.

"Kovacic is not for sale, we will never sell him!" he told Sportske Novosti. "If there are any offers for him in January, we will reject them. Last summer there were a lot of offers and questions about him.

"Juventus and AC Milan didn't send offers, but Inter must have sent one. There was one from England, it was Tottenham."

“Mateo is a smart guy, he knows he would have played in the starting XI in each of those teams that want him but he is aware that we count on him too. He is one of the players the club’s future relies on.”

Kovacic only has made two substitute appearances this season before getting injured in September with a torn adductor muscle. He made a return to the pitch on Tuesday's Copa del Rey 2-2 draw with Fuenlabrada and played 80 minutes of football in the tie.

Story first published: Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10:09 [IST]
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