Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly opened talks with Real Madrid about signing the Croatian international.
While Tottenham Hotspur’s club-record, £30 million move for Moussa Sissoko last summer has become something of an eternal punchline, it is worth noting that this lapse of judgement was as uncharacteristic as it was expensive.
You cannot get them right every time. But it is fair to say that Spurs do not often make mistakes of this magnitude. They are, after all, the prime example of how to compete at the very top on an inferior budget.
Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele, Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Victor Wanyama all arrived at White Hart Lane for less than £15million each after all.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy knows how to strike a bargain
And the fact that they have opened talks with Real Madrid over the signing of Mateo Kovacic, according to the Daily Star, once again highlights the eye for a bargain that has transformed Spurs into a side with genuine Premier League title ambitions.
The report claims that the Croatian dynamo is valued at £22 million; a snip in today’s madcap market and less than Madrid paid Inter Milan for his signature two summers ago.
Furthermore, when you consider that Kovacic is just 23, and already has two Champions League titles on his CV, the fact he is valued at around a third of the price Manchester City paid Monaco for Bernardo Silva is quite remarkable.
After all, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has made a habit out of transforming youthful talents into genuinely world class footballers and Kovacic, who has all the raw attributes to be a sensational all-round midfielder, could benefit from the Argentine’s esteemed tutelage.
Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic
It would still be a surprise if Real were to let Kovacic go, however. Although making just 19 La Liga starts, the Croatian played a hugely important role as Zinedine Zidane rotated his squad in the final months of the season.
Yet a £22million price tag means president Florentino Perez should brace himself for offers.