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Agent of Arsenal-linked midfield starlet Kovacic responds to transfer rumours

After joining Inter in January 2013, Mateo Kovacic remains one of the most coveted young midfielders in Europe.

The agent of 20-year-old Mateo Kovacic has categorically denied that the Croatian could leave Inter in an interview with FCInterNews, following on from links with a move away.

Kovacic joined the Nerazzurri in the winter of 2013 as a natural replacement for the outgoing Wesley Sneijder, having built a sterling reputation at Dinamo Zagreb.

A great deal of pressure was placed on the Austrian-born midfielder upon his arrival, being handed the vaunted number 10 shirt at San Siro after his purchase for €11 million.

Insisting the weight of expectation in Milan wouldn’t prove too much for him, it took time for the then-teenager to settle in, with Inter less than stable upon his arrival.

Since moving to northern Italy, the young Kovacic has been coached by three different men in Andrea Stramaccioni, Walter Mazzarri and Roberto Mancini, while Inter were sold by Massimo Moratti to Erick Thohir.

Experiencing continuous changes, Kovacic’s first full season in a Nerazzurri shirt wasn’t exactly what all had hoped for, as he was granted just 14 Serie A starts.

Kovacic was deployed in a variety of midfield positions and even openly criticised by Mazzarri at times, managing four assists but failing to hit the back of the net.

This term, Kovacic has been more involved, starting 20 of Inter’s 28 Serie A fixtures and featuring heavily in the Europa League, with Mancini replacing Mazzarri at the helm.

Eight goals have come from his boots but the Croatia international has not been as prolific in creation, registering only one assist across all competitions.

Kovacic has witnessed yet another season of upheaval at San Siro, with Inter struggling mightily to stay in the top 10 of the table, much less fight for European football.

Last week the Metro claimed that Arsenal were eyeing up a move for the 20-year-old, who has consistently been the subject of rumours ever since he first arrived at Inter.

But Kovacic’s agent, Nikky Vuskan, has ruled out the idea of the midfielder departing from his current employer, pointing to a new contract he recent signed.

Vuska told FCInterNews: “He has recently renewed his contract, two months ago, and nothing has changed in that sense.

“He has signed a five-year renewal, and he believes in his Inter future. If he wasn’t happy in Milan he wouldn’t have extended his contract.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone, he has renewed with Inter. He’s an Inter player and will continue to be so.”

Along with Arsenal, Kovacic has also been closely linked with Real Madrid this campaign, as Corriere dello Sport reported in November that Carlo Ancelotti had taken an interest in him.

Any move to North London or the Spanish capital would be somewhat odd for all parties, however, as Kovacic would only face more competition for minutes, for all his undeniable talent.

The Gunners are well stocked in midfield, the deepest part of Arsene Wenger’s squad, while Real Madrid have no shortage of attacking options in the centre of the park.

A new contract doesn’t necessarily mean Inter wouldn’t consider selling Kovacic, but gives the club greater leverage in dealing with outside interest.

For now Mancini appears keen to go forward with the Croatian as a key piece in his rebuilding project, and based on Vuskan’s words, Kovacic is content to be a part of it.

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