Manchester United are reportedly keen on a player who Tottenham had a bid turned down for last summer.
Kovacic has made only two La Liga starts for Real this season.
Real Madrid general director Jose Angel Sanchez had recently told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti that Tottenham had a bid rejected for Mateo Kovacic in the summer.
Real signed Kovacic for £28 million in 2015 but has never really managed to establish himself as a regular in their XI.
Manchester United's reported desire is likely enhanced by Jose Mourinho's frustration with out of form attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
But by this token, Tottenham still need Kovacic too, as they did not sign a single midfield player in the summer and their creative players like Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have too much pressure on them as it is.
Real rejected Tottenham's offer not because it was insufficient, but as they did not want to part ways with Kovacic.
With the Croatian barely playing at all this season, it makes sense for Real to take the money and put it towards signing another Galactico.
The question will come down to which of Manchester United and Tottenham want him more.
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