Manchester United and Arsenal are battling it out for the signature of Dinamo Zagreb’s highly-rated young midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
The 17 year-old Croatian under-21 international has been getting rave reviews for his performances for Dinamo since breaking into the first team a year ago, at the age of just 16.
European giants such as Bayern Munich and Juventus have also been credited with an interest in the player dubbed the ‘new Luka Modric’ in his homeland.
But it seems Manchester United may have stolen a march on their rivals after it appeared that Kovacic has a preference to move to Old Trafford. ”United have made it clear they are looking at Kovacic in a big way and they think he is a future star,’’ a source told Goal.com.
”His age and price tag means January will probably be too soon but the feedback is that the player’s preference would be a move to Old Trafford and United are favourites to sign him.’’
Kovacic became the youngest goalscorer in Dinamo Zagreb’s history when he netted on his debut at the age of 16 years and 198 days and he has got everybody in Croatia excited by his talent, with some Croatian pundits even likening him to Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.
Arsenal were interested in signing the young starlet in the summer, but were put off by Dinamo’s £10 million price tag, but it looks like Manchester United are willing to pay that amount for him and his preference to join United may hamper Arsenal’s hopes of landing the talented young midfielder.