Real Madrid Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Mateo Kovacic and Marcos Llorente

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 13:  Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid looks on during a warm up prior to the Supercopa de Espana Supercopa Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Real Madrid have reportedly rejected an offer of €75 million (£69 million) from Juventus for midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

According to AS (h/t Football Italia), the massive offer for the Croatia international was turned down by the Spanish and European champions. Kovacic, having previously struggled to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu, is growing in importance in Zinedine Zidane's squad.

There appears to be some confusion in regards to the fee, though. According to ESPN FC, the 23-year-old has a release clause of €50 million (£46 million) in his current Madrid contract.

Juventus signed Blaise Matuidi from Paris Saint-Germain on Friday on a three-year deal, per the club's official website, though it appears they may remain keen to strengthen their options in this area of the pitch.

Kovacic has forced his way into Zidane's plans.
Kovacic has forced his way into Zidane's plans.Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Kovacic has previously spent time in Italy, excelling at Inter Milan before being snapped up by Real Madrid. He has struggled to nail down a starting spot in the team ahead of the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, but as noted by journalist David Cartlidge, he is really beginning to blossom:

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

Kovacic MOTM tonight, further exclamation point over his progression at club. Started nervously but in time has become a genuine RM player.

As things stand, should Modric, Kroos or Casemiro pick up an injury or suspension, Kovacic is the first man to step into the side. That means he will get plenty of minutes this term, with Zidane a manager who is willing to rotate his squad over the course of a long season.

While there may be doubts over the fee offered for the player, it's tough to see Madrid encouraging any interest in the midfielder at this juncture. And having worked so hard to put himself in a position to be starting matches regularly, Kovacic would also surely choose to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu for now.


Marcos Llorente Exit Rumours

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 02:   Marcos Llorente #18 of Real Madrid looks to pass in front of Kaka #10 of the MLS All-Stars during the 2017 MLS All- Star Game at Soldier Field on August 2, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Gonzalo Castro of AS, the stellar form of Kovacic means Marcos Llorente is edging closer to the exit door at the Bernabeu.

In the piece it's suggested there are a clutch of clubs interested in signing the 22-year-old, who performed brilliantly at Alaves on loan last season—Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal are said to be keen on the playmaker.

"Real would be expected to seek a loan, or include a buy-back option were the Spain Under-21 international to depart on a permanent deal," the report continued.

As aforementioned, Llorente showed what he can do in La Liga for Alaves last season, turning in some forceful displays in midfield.

Here's a look at what he can offer:

But he's failed to make it into the squad for any of Madrid's three competitive games so far in 2017-18. Journalist Lucas Navarrete doesn't see him getting many minutes:

Lucas Navarrete @LucasNavarreteM

Marcos Llorente is out of Real Madrid's list. It's not going to be an easy season for him.

With that in mind, another loan move would be preferable for Madrid. Llorente is clearly a talent, and at most sides in Europe, he'd be pushing for a starting spot. In a year's time, perhaps he'll be in a better place to get consistent football at the Bernabeu and progress in a similar manner to Kovacic.

However, the youngster will want some consistency in his career, especially given how strong his 2016-17 season was. A permanent switch with a buy-back clause included for Los Blancos may be the best solution for all parties at this point.


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