The Croat international arrived at the Bernabeu from Inter Milan in 2015 for a fee of €29m and has gone on to make 73 appearances for Los Blancos.
Mourinho is in the market for another midfielder after it was revealed that Fabinho, who he hoped would join Nemanja Matic in midfield at Old Trafford, reportedly agreed a move to Paris Saint Germain this week.
And according to Spanish outlet Diaro Madridsta, the 54-year-old will place his emphasis on securing the Madrid man instead.
You wouldn’t have heard much about Kovacic this season, even if you were, like myself, keenly observing Madrid’s march to a La Liga and Champions League double. But that, I think, is part of his charm.
At a club with a pathological obsession with elevating individuals onto a pantheon, the 23-year-old Croat continues to go about his business as a jack of all trades. A utility man, if you will, used primarily as a deep-lying playmaker whilst also capable of playing both in a wide role or at No.10. He can weave past opponents, something aided by his low centre of gravity, and can likewise dig in and be a nuisance in midfield.
He won’t lead United’s charge to silverware next season, just like he wasn’t really highlighted at Madrid last year, but he can serve as an immensely useful squad player.