Real Madrid are not planning to sell Manchester United target Mateo Kovacic this summer despite the Croat expressing a desire to leave the club earlier this week, according to reports from Spain.
The midfielder, who emerged on Man United’s radar last summer, has been reduced to just nine La Liga starts since the turn of the year at Madrid and played hardly any part in the latter stages of their triumphant Champions League campaign.
Speaking soon after Croatia’s 3-0 win over Argentina, Kovacic, reduced to a bench role for his country as well, made it clear he wanted a starting role elsewhere next season.
“I want to play more and it’s best if I leave Madrid. I love football and being on the pitch, I want the chance to be a starter for another team,” he said. “If I don’t play, I’m not happy.”
But according to Marca‘s Santiago Siguero, the European champions are in no mood whatsoever to sell Kovacic, whose contract runs until 2021 and has a release clause of €300m. Any club keen to sign the 24-year-old will have to negotiate with Florentino Perez, which rarely ends well.
The club president and those within his circle clearly believe Kovacic, still relatively young, has plenty to offer Julen Lopetegui next season and beyond.