Mateo Kovacic Tells Real Madrid He Wants to Leave as Tottenham Shows Interest
Croatian international Mateo Kovacic has told Real Madrid he wants to leave the club this summer in search of regular first-team football.
The Daily Star reports that Tottenham Hotspur have begun preliminary talks with last season's Champions League winners over a deal for the £22m-rated midfielder.
Kovacic was used largely off the bench last season, and despite playing 27 matches in La Liga as Real stormed to the title, he has grown frustrated at his bit-part role, as competition for places in the starting 11 grows.
The ex-Inter Milan player, who signed for Real in the summer of 2015 for €29million, has only scored three goals for the club in 73 appearances in all competitions.
Tottenham, who sold right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £50m last week, are keen to reinvest at least some of this money, with manager Mauricio Pochettino keen to bolster his squad after what has been a somewhat quiet transfer window so far for the North Londoners.
Spurs haven't signed any new first team players thus far, with Pochettino seemingly keen to focus on keeping his current crop of players together.
Spurs have also been linked with Monaco player Thomas Lemar, who is also a target for rivals Arsenal. Furthermore, Dinamo Zagreb defender Filip Benkovic has been linked with a £13.5m move to Tottenham.
The 20-year old centre-back is regarded as one of Croatia's biggest prospects, and since making his debut in 2015 has scored twice in 22 appearances.