Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has met with the agent of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, according to transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio.
Inter are believed to be interested in the Croatian international – who played for the club for two years before joining Real Madrid in 2015 – as coach Luciano Spalletti, backed by ambitious new owners, looks to add quality to his midfield options.
Di Marzio’s report claims that details of the meeting are set top be revealed in the near future.
Ausilio is reportedly a friend of Kovacic’s agent, and the meeting was arranged in the hope that the playmaker could be persuaded to leave the Bernabeu.
Even if the 23-year-old Croatian star were allowed to leave, Inter may have competition from Tottenham, Napoli and even big-spending rivals AC Milan.
Kovacic may be more open to a move after Los Blancos confirmed the singing of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Betis, whose arrival could push him further down the pecking order.
The former Dinamo Zagreb player has started just 27 La Liga games over his two seasons with Real Madrid, and made eight starts in the Champions League.
Kovacic’s struggles for regular game time with the European Champions could also bring into question his place in the Croatia squad for next summer’s World Cup. With that in mind, he may opt to leave in search of more opportunities.
Tottenham have reportedly had a £22m bid rejected and now face a battle with Inter for Kovacic’s signature.