In addition to the already long list of suitors being mentioned with a move for the youngster, Liverpool are now ready to make their approach for Mateo Kovacic.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona are all reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the Croatian starlet, although he is yet to complete a transfer away from his homeland.
Sources have suggested that Barcelona offered a sum well below Zagreb’s estimation of the player in the summer, but were apparently ready to sign Kovacic on an eight-year contract, for the first two of which he would be loaned back to the Croatian outfit.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s United are also known to have made official enquiries for the playmaker but the boardroom are reportedly unwilling to shell out the £10m valuation for a player who is untested in a league like the English top flight.
The 17 year-old has made 17 starts for Dinamo Zagreb this season, scoring five goals and making three assists in the process.
Kovacic has also made four appearances for the Croatian Under-21 side and despite his age, is an outside bet to go with the senior side to Euro 2012.
With the contract of Kovacic at Dinamo Zagreb set to expire this summer, the starlet isn’t expected to be plying his trade in his native country next season.
Although he won’t command a ‘transfer fee’ as such, the sale of Kovacic still won’t be a straightforward case with the formalities of agent fees, contract clauses and signing-on fees still to be settled.
This transfer story will be covered extensively in coming months and although Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson were brought in for a combined total of £30m last summer, Mateo Kovacic is another central star that could make his way to Anfield at the end of the current campaign.
Kenny Dalglish has had to contend with the absence of Steven Gerrard on a near-constant basis during the last year at Merseyside, and with injuries becoming a frequent issue for the homegrown superstar, midfield cover will be necessary at Liverpool.