Reports in Italy are claiming this morning that Liverpool have made a second bid for Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic, as Brendan Rodgers steps up his pursuit of a replacement for outgoing captain Steven Gerrard.
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Liverpool transfer news
Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport – whose claims have since been picked up by the Daily Express – believe that the offer is believed to be worth around £12.9m, a substantial improvement on our opening bid of £7.5m.
Unfortunately, the Express believe Inter are holding out for closer to £18m as they fight to hold on to one of their prize assets. Potential competition from Arsenal could also see the asking price rise, as we risk entering a bidding war with our Premier League rivals, who themselves are seeking competition for Francis Coquelin.
Kovacic has been in fine form so far this season, despite Inter sitting in a disappointing eighth place in Serie A with just one game remaining. The 21-year-old Croatian has played 43 times in all competitions, scoring eight goals and providing three assists.
We can certainly see the appeal behind his signing. The prospect of pairing Kovacic with Emre Can is enough to make our mouths water, while their youthfulness should balance well against the experience brought by Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva.