Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United look set to miss out with Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter confirming to Spox that Luka Jovic is due to return from Real Madrid.
Jovic isn’t the first, nor the last, to be crushed under the weight of expectation at the Santiago Bernabau.
Less than two years after joining the 13-time European Champions in a deal worth a staggering £52 million, the Serbian striker is about to bring his miserable spell in the Spanish capital to an end.
He managed a grand total of six La Liga starts and two goals in 18 forgettable months.
They do say ‘never go back’ but Jovic has no time for tired cliches as he prepares to make an emotional return to the club where he made his name.
Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic confirmed ahead of Tuesday’s 4-1 DFB Pokal defeat to Bayer Leverkusen that a deal for Jovic was “almost done” – a claim backed up by Hutter at full-time.
“I spoke to him on the phone last night. He did everything he could to get to Frankfurt,” Hutter explains.
“The conversations were very good. I was really happy to hear him again – an extraordinary player.
“It’s a very special signal to the outside world.”
Jovic catapulted himself into the sights of Real Madrid with 27 goals during the 2018/19 season, firing Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-finals as part of a thrilling front three alongside Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic.
Wolves and West Ham will have little choice but to look elsewhere for a new number nine, then, with Jovic opting to follow his heart after 18 months collecting moss on the Bernabau bench.
West Ham were keen before being put off by Jovic’s £85,000-a-week wages (Defensa Central).
The Athletic, meanwhile, suggests Wolves had narrowed their search to three – Jovic, Josh King and the seldom-seen Liverpool frontman Divock Origi.