Manchester United are keeping a close eye on two of Croatia’s exciting young talents, with representatives being sent to watch both Mateo Kovacic and Mario Situm line up for Dinamo Zagreb this weekend, according to Fanatix.
While Kovavic broke into the senior squad at Zagreb last season, Situm made his senior debut in February this year, but both players have since established themselves as regulars in the first team, and their performances on the field are believed to have caught the attention of several top European clubs, alongside Manchester United.
Ferguson has always emphasized the importance of youth at Manchester United and already this season has shown faith in the likes of Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley, and Danny Welbeck, while also bringing the likes of Phil Jones (19) and David de Gea (20) for a combined fee of over £30m. Situm, 19, has scored 5 goals in 12 appearances this season for Zagreb, while Kovavic,17, has been branded the ‘new Messi’ in Croatia, for his flair and pace in the attacking-midfield role for the club.
Some reports have suggested that Kovavic will be out of contract in the summer, and should Zagreb fail to get their star man to pen a new contract, Ferguson and co are likely to wait until the end of the season before making an offer for the pair. However, with a number of top European sides, including Arsenal, believed to have shown an interest in the duo, United may be forced to enter the market earlier in order to secure the highly pursued teenagers.
Should the Croatian duo complete moves to Old Trafford, it remains unlikely they will become a part of the United first team immediately, but will perhaps familiarize themselves with English football through the reserves.
In order to secure their services, a bid in January may be necessary from United, and with the potential and ability that both players have shown to possess, we can expect the Croatian side to place a valuation on the duo that would generally seem unreasonable for players of such a young age. However, if United don’t pay it Zagreb are fully aware that another top European club almost certainly will.