By 90Min
July 22, 2018

Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has asked new manager Julen Lopetegui to allow him to leave the club this summer, according to reports in Spain.

Spanish outlet Marca claim that Kovacic, who was part of the Croatian side that finished second at the World Cup, met with Lopetegui on Friday and now feels certain that his future lies elsewhere.

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Though the atmosphere during the meeting at Madrid's training ground remained cordial throughout, it is reported that Kovacic was clear in his demands and is determined to leave this summer in the hope of gaining more playing time at another club.

It would appear that Kovacic has not changed his opinion on the matter since his comments made to Marca back in May when he said: "I would like to play more at Madrid because I love football and being on the pitch.

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"I know that at Madrid it's difficult to be a starter, especially because I arrived very young.

"I understand the situation but that's why I think it's best for me to go to another club where I will have the chance to play regularly as a starter.

"It's an opportunity that I think I can have and I want it now."

The central midfielder has been linked with a host of sides this summer, including Premier League clubs Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham. However, reaching an agreement over the fee for Kovacic could be a potential sticking point, with Madrid rumoured to want €80m for the player.

Kovacic joined Madrid in the summer of 2015 following two and a half years at Inter, during which time he made 97 appearances for the Italian side. Since joining Madrid, the midfielder has appeared over 100 times for the Spanish giants and scored three goals.

Though the 24-year-old has enjoyed a successful career to date, Kovacic has struggled to secure a regular first-team place in Madrid's star-studded midfield and appears to be interested in playing a more influential role at another club.

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