According to the Croatian publication Vercernji List, Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic has already agreed personal terms to join Liverpool this summer.
The highly-rated midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to the Reds, with Brendan Rodgers keen to bolster ranks ahead of Steven Gerrard’s impending exit.
Manchester City’s James Milner has already signed a Liverpool deal, whereas reports in The Sun via Team Talk also suggest Tottenham Hotspur’s Nabil Bentaleb is a potential target.
Kovacic, a Croatia international, can play anywhere across a flat midfield and his potential arrival on Anfield could see him compete with Jordan Henderson for a regular first-team spot.
|Goals||Assists||Key Passes per Game||Take-ons Per Game||Tackles per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Pass Success % per Game||Appearances|
As per the table above, the two midfielders post similar results in a number of key categories, though it’s worth pointing out that Inter are no longer among Serie A’s leading clubs.
England international Henderson has scored six goals and provided nine assists for the Reds over the course of the Premier League season, bettering Kovacic on both accounts.
However, the 21-year-old Inter favourite is shown to be better in possession, averaging more passes per Serie A encounter as well as posting a higher pass success rate.
Moreover, Kovacic is renowned in Italy for his wonderful close control and ability to escape tight situations using individual skill, illustrated by his impressive average of 2.6 successful take-ons per match.
In the average number of tackles and chances created per match, the two players remarkably post a similar tally which perhaps illustrates their like-for-like roles in their respective teams.
At just 21 years of age, Kovacic is already making a splash in Italy and he may be looking at former teammate Philippe Coutinho as an inspiration to prove himself further on Merseyside.