Inter Milan are said to be working on extending the contract of star midfielder Mateo Kovacic in a bid to fend off interest from Europe’s leading clubs.
The Croatian international moved to the Italian outfit during the 2013 January transfer window for a reported €15 million fee from Dinamo Zagreb.
His performances over the past 18 months have been nothing short of fantastic and it led to speculation regarding a potential move to both Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Reports in the Italian press during the summer suggested the Reds were hot on his heels over a potential deal and Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio intensified speculation by admitting he had received bids.
Inter owner Erik Thohir, however, reportedly sees the young play-maker as the crowning jewel to his side and appears set to go to great lengths to keep him at the San Siro for the foreseeable future.
According to Sky Sports Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the club have sat down with the player’s entourage and are close to extending his current deal until the summer of 2019.
“Inter is working on extending the contract of their jewel," the report claims.
"Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio had lunch with the midfielder’s entourage at the Bulgari restaurant in Milano, it was the second meeting to discuss Kovacic’s future. The main terms of a new contract expiring in 2019 have been set, now they will work on finalizing the details. Kovacic’s future is expected to be in black and blue.”
Liverpool have done business with Inter in recent seasons, signing Philippe Coutinho during the same transfer window as Inter acquired Kovacic.
Coutinho has played 59 games for the Merseysiders since joining, scoring nine goals whereas Kovacic has represented Inter 61 times, finding the net on five occasions.