Tottenham have reportedly decided to contact Real Madrid in the hopes of beating Manchester United to Mateo Kovacic’s signature.

Just this morning, we reported on Jose Mourinho identifying Toni Kroos as the ideal midfield partner for Paul Pogba, so it’s unlikely that Real Madrid will allow two of these central midfielders leave this summer.

If anything, Kovacic would feature in the team more should Kroos leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

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He only made 10 La Liga starts last season and has subsequently been linked to a number of clubs following the resignation of manager Zinedine Zidane, including Roma, Juventus and a return to Inter Milan.

According to AS, as per the Daily Star, United were expected to sign the player for approximately £65 million, where he would join new £52 million signing Fred in midfield. However, with Mousa Dembele rumoured to be moving abroad, Spurs have attempted to hijack the deal and sign the unsettled Croatian.

Kovacic is still away at the World Cup with the Croatian national team, who topped Group D by winning all of their games, including a terrific 3-0 win over Argentina.

The 24-year-old move to Madrid in 2015 and has won three Champions League titles in consecutive seasons, as well as one La Liga title.

He’s found it difficult to earn a starting spot with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro taking up the midfield roles. At United, it would much easier since the manager decides to bend over bandwards for players such as Marouane Fellaini, who the fans want nowhere near the team.