Manchester United are reported to have been on the trail of the 17-year-old Dinamo Zagreb talent, Mateo Kovacic.
United scouts for Balkan region have been sent to watch the young talent as Dinamo Zagreb faces their rival Hajduk Split at the Stadion Poljud. This is one of the hottest rivalries at the club level, and surely going to be a testing ground for the young player Kovacic.
Kovacic has been dubbed as the "new Messi" in world football, owing to his skills over the ball that resemble the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. He mainly plays as an attacking midfielder and has already put on a string of impressive performances this far. He has only got eight first team appearances for Dinamo Zagreb, and has netted the ball twice for his club.
As world football is stressing more and more on bringing out young talents, and polishing them to develop to the big stage, Kovacic is also not an exception with his demands from top clubs. Arsenal has been said to scout and follow him for some time, but unfortunately the director of sport for Zagreb, Zoran Mamic, thinks that Arsenal cannot join the "dance of millions" for Kovacic.
However, top order clubs like Bayern Munich, Ajax and Juventus are also said to be on the trail for Kovacic, which will eventually make the player a bit too expensive at the market. The Croatian has only a year left in his contract and will be free next summer, although his club is said to be in talks to tie him for a new contract.
Manchester United have already signed this summer two young players, David de Gea as the goalkeeper and Phil Jones as a center half. The intentions of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is clear, that to make a younger team and build team chemistry from the initial phase of young players.
The current crop also features youngsters like Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly, who have been loaned out last season to Sunderland and Wigan Athletic respectively. This season, they have been given first team chances, which show that United is ready to give a go to the youth. The results have been excellent in this case, unlike Arsenal.
United is also said to monitor the progress of Kovacic's team-mate Mario Situm, the 19-year-old forward who has scored four goals in five matches for Zagreb. Though United has got a full house of forwards at the moment, however the decreasing possibilities of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen may lead to a way in for younger talents at Old Trafford.
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