Real Madrid Director: Club Rejected Tottenham Offer for Mateo Kovacic

Real Madrid rejected an offer from Tottenham Hotspur for Mateo Kovacic over the summer.
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Real Madrid rejected an offer from Tottenham Hotspur for Mateo Kovacic over the summer, according to the club's general director.

Jose Angel Sanchez told Sportske Novosti (h/t Goal) that Spurs had attempted to prise the playmaker away from Santiago Bernabeu but saw their offer rebuffed by the reigning La Liga champions.

Kovacic has struggled to force himself into the first-team reckoning on a regular basis under Zinedine Zidane, and reports in the summer had linked him with a move away from Spain's capital.

Sanchez, however, ruled out the Croatia international leaving any time soon despite the attention in him from a few clubs who had expressed interest in his signature.

He said: "Kovacic is not for sale, we will never sell him! 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 we count on him too. He is one of the players the club's future relies on."

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Kovacic moved to Real in the summer of 2015 for around £28m and, despite making almost 100 appearances for Zidane's side in that time, has failed to nail down a starting spot for any period longer than five matches.

Injuries to his knee and ankle have prevented the 23-year-old from featuring more regularly when his form has been good but, with the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric standing in his way, will have to bide his time for a while longer.

Spurs had earmarked Kovacic as a potential addition to Mauricio Pochettino's squad in the summer and media reports had suggested a move could be close - albeit on loan.

However, Real chose to keep their star in house and Spurs had to look elsewhere for reinforcements.