7 Jun 2015

Mega-Deal: 'Extraordinary' €25m playmaker who's 'like Kaka' agrees to join Liverpool. Done Deal soon?

Last week, Dejan Lovren fanned the flames of transfer speculation by posting on Instagram a photo of Liverpool target Mateo Kovacic, and new reports in Croatia suggest that the coveted midfielder is very close to signing a deal with the Reds.

Last Friday, ESPN 'sources' claimed that Reds 'executives' met with the allegedly 'extraordinary' Kovacic and Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio to discuss a transfer, and soon after, Lovren posted the following photo:



Now, according to Croatian newspaper Vecernji list:

* Kovacic wants to join Liverpool, and he's agreed personal terms with the club.

* The Reds have are yet to agree a fee for the midfielder, though, and Liverpool's latest offer is €21m, which Intern have rejected.

* Inter reportedly want a minumum of €25m, the price paid for fellow Croatian Dejan Lovren.

Onew thing I still don't get: If Kovacic - hailed by Italy legend Giovanni Trappattoni as 'like Kaka' - is such an amazing prospect, why are Inter Milan so 'desperate' to sell? It doesn't make sense.

You don't hear about Real Madrid being 'desperate' to sell 'Isco', or Bayern Munich chomping at the bit to dump Mario Gotze; if Kovacic is so good, then Inter would fight tooth and nail to keep him, no?

Another concern: In March, Kovacic's agent barked:

"Roberto Mancini doesn’t use him [Kovacic] in the right way or for enough time. These Coaches have no idea how to play him!"

If Mancini and other 'Coaches' don't know how to utilise Kovacic properly, then what are the chances of Brendan Rodgers - the master of playing square pegs in round holes - getting it right?

It appears that Kovacic is a man without a position, very much like Joe Allen. During his career, he's been utilised as a deep-lying midfielder; a number 10 (just behind the striker); a central-midfielder, and a wide-man, and given the fact Inter want to sell, he's clearly failed to excel in any one position.



Croatian legend Zvonimir Boban describes Kovacic as follows:

“He [Kovacic] has the potential to become better than me. He’s not a born playmaker and not yet a complete player. He can play either on the left or right of central midfield in a 4-3-3 or a 3-5-2. He could also become a playmaker in a few years’ time.”

Perhaps it's just me, but I'm sick of versatile players who can seemingly operate in ten different positions. A 'complete' player isn't necessarily a great player.

The phrase 'Jack of all trades, master of none', springs to mind, and in Emre Can, Liverpool already have someone who fulfils the 'utility-player' role.

I continually make this point (as do many other fans), but the Reds need positional-specialists, not players without a clear, defined position. Emre Can can play in defence and midfield, but bar a short purple-patch mid-season, he's (arguably) failed to excel in either position for Liverpool.

Rodgers will just keep making the same mistakes, though. He'll probably play James Milner as a holding midfielder; persist with Emre Can at right back, and play Coutinho or Lallana up-front, something he did several times last season.

There's absolutely no point signing Kovacic unless Rodgers has a specific, defined role for him in the team. If he spends the season shifting him around from pillar-to-post, then the young Croatian is destined to fail at Anfield.

Author: Jaimie K



64 comments:

  1. I don't know to much about this kid except that he's a midfielder ......can,hendo,milner,lallana,Allen,Lucas,Gino,ibe ,rossiter,is this kid any better when we don't have a decent right back or centre back or an left back and we defiantly don't have a striker if Mr glkass is out

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  2. He scored a cracker for Croatia today.

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  3. He looks good on you tube but so did all last summers signings - we can but hope.I wonder if FSG by sacking all of B R s staff are trying to get him to resign and thus save paying him compensation ????????

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  4. €25m is about £18m, This is the same Inter who gave us Coutinho for buttons, as they could not help him realise his obvious potential.

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  5. Ian Rush P660 G3468:35 pm, June 07, 2015

    He's a talented midfielder and be a great signing if Liverpool could pull it off. My guess is he's just having lunch with a friend but who knows. Coutinho wasn't wanted and Rodgers helped develop him into a star.

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  6. Absolutely agree that we need specific players for positions. Kovacic looks good but we desperately need a quality defensive midfielder and he's not that.Neither are Hendo or Milner. Can possibly could be but has not been used in that role. Allen is lightweight and Lucas doesn't convince. BR's disastrous approach is to mix & match players and positions. Until we get a good dmf we will look vulnerable at the back.

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  7. Would take him in a flash if available. Still need a specialist dm though. Kondogbia or similar.

    Likes of barca supposed to be sniffing around Kovacic. So yes inter may be willing to sell but better clubs looking to buy

    Do wonder whether Allen on way if get this guy in

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  8. we must get him and get rid of Allen.
    He is good in central midfield role.then that will leave us with Hendo,Milner,Kovacic,Can and Lucas( if we keep him).
    Kovacic can be groomed in more prominent role with Milner playing that part this season.That's the only possibility for him doing well.
    If we paying that much for him pls play him centrally.Don't ruin his career and club's money again.

    That being said wr is our transfer priority ,Strikers??

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  9. its like groundhog day

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  10. Could you repeat that please.

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  11. As I have said before, I see Kovacic as a central midfielder who can bomb on forward when required and has the initiative for goal and he would work well with supporting midfielders. As for Inter being desperate, I have heard reports saying Mancini is desperate to keep Kovacic and Inter want to sell him because he is their cash cow so to say and want to sign players in other positions. He is better than all our midfielders in terms of technical ability and is a whole upgrade on Allen without a doubt. If we compare 18 mil for Kovacic with 15 mil for Allen, we all know who wins. Plus, Kovacic played in a midfield with Rakitic and Modric for Croatia so he has experience and knowledge from the best. But, of course, like any young player he needs to be used properly and as Jaimie says, it remains to see whether that happens with Rodgers.

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  12. Better than Allen for sure and better than Milner and Hendo in terms of technique, passing and scoring and better than Can in terms of tactical awareness. These are the signings that will elevate us because even if we do fill the other positions like striker well, what is the point when we have people like Allen playing in midfield.

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  13. Sorry, but you never mentioned manager, surely that's number 1 priority.

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  14. My thoughts exactly m8

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  15. As someone who watches a fair amount of Serie A, I'm intrigued by the potential of this deal. It's also probably worth saying right now, that I don't think this deal will happen. I think Inter will build their team around Icardi, Kovacic and Shaqiri.

    Kovacic is a massively talented player. I think he has more natural talent than Coutinho for example. He has tremendous vision and a lethal pass allied with a comfort in carrying the ball. That said, he hasn't impressed that much for Inter. Certainly not to the tune of £20m. His form picked up towards the end of the season, but he didn't impress for large parts of it.

    He is immature. As JK said, he lacks a defined role in the team and can fade out of games quite easily. At this point you've got to decide whether he was a victim of the wider malaise at Inter, or a key component (and therefore worthy of admonishment) of their under-performing unit. I would cut him some slack and say that having worked under Mazzarri and Mancini and their different systems (Mazzarri is a strong proponent of a disctinctive 3-5-2, Mancini tried a few different systems after taking over) last season and having worked with 3 managers already in his short Inter career hasn't helped his development. Hard to claim a position in a system if the system keeps being broken down and rebuilt.

    All in all, I'd be hugely excited if we signed him, but that is more to do with the player he could be than the player he is. The price being talked about is too great and I also don't see where he'd fit in with us. I think he lacks the tactical maturity to play as a deeper playmaker (a Pirlo style Regista) and I can't see us leaving out Coutinho to accomodate him as a 10. I wouldn't fancy him in a wide position. I think he'd be best as part of a midfield 3 like PSG's: him in the Verratti role as a tenacious deep-lying playmaker who can go forward because there is a dedicated defensive-mid (Thiago Motta) behind him and a strong runner (Matuidi or Hendo/Milner in our case) alongside him. Hard to say though, as he's not really had the chance to settle into a position or a role.

    Finally: check out the goal he scored today- great goal.

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  16. That ship has sailed for now.

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  17. He said it's like Groundhog Day.

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  18. I will go and se someone about this, but I think I agree. All of our midfielders are versatile and we need a dedicated DM. Again it could work out, but Brendan is not filling me with hope. On the other hand with Gerrard gone and all the players in the team being able to cover enough pitch a midfield of Can, Kovacic, Henderson, Milner and Couts could be the most unpredictable and fluid midfield in the league...

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  19. Muhammad Ibrahim9:34 pm, June 07, 2015

    If true and we can actually complete the transfer this is very very good news. Now the next step should be to sell Allen and Lucas (I could name a whole number of others also), after selling these two get in Junior Malanda and Johaneis Geis.

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  20. knives in hand.....

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  21. ..................Can
    Milner..............Kovacic
    Henderson .............................Lallana
    ......................Couts
    ?

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  22. Muhammad Ibrahim9:37 pm, June 07, 2015

    This guy looks good. He is better than Allen. Looks to be technically very good, has an eye for a pass, can dribble, but does lack a bit bravery perhaps when it comes to aerial duels. He is composed on the ball and may contribute up to about 5 to 10 goals in a season

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  23. Honest mistake I hope. Unfortunatley Junior Malanda passed away in a car accident a few months ago. Not sure how you could not of heard about it.

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  24. Daaaaamn that goal is classy, now if only he scored against that against us and was English, we would be offering double what they want in a heartbeat ha

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  25. Dude... Junior Malanda died in a car crash a few months ago...

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  26. Brendan's wet dream. I wonder how many midfielders we could cram into the defence too? I think the team you've put out would play very nice, controlling stuff, but would lack cutting edge. We'd batter teams and lose 2-0. What is nice about the team you've put up though is that if you replace Coutinho with a proper striker, that looks like a team that isn't solely relying on Coutinho for creativity. Nice pressing and defensive balance with the craft of Kovacic and to lesser extent Lallana.

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  27. Reminds me a bit of the Basel debacle last year.

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  28. Currently, we hold 7 first team midfielders (Including Milner, and I've included Can as well)


    Kovacic would put us @ 8.


    I really don't understand the logic behind bringing in Milner. If you want experience, get a striker. Because that is undoubtedly our weakest area, and I will be quite ashamed if Ings comes in. Lambortelli and Sturridge (I don't really like accusing Balo) have all simply been ineffective this season.


    Origi, Ings and Sinclair will be our only options if Sturridge is injured. Combined ages of 20,18 and 22. An average age of 20 in the most important position is quite sad, which is why I'm against the signing of Vietto in a sense.


    Problem is strikers in their prime ('round 27) are expensive, and our transfer committee will continue to be a pile of trash.


    I think it is now clear that the transfer committee is centered around FSG, a group of people who simply want to make their money back. Not sacking BR because it costs money, then trying to force him to resign by taking out his men.


    Now that I come to think about it, is BR really even to blame anymore? Because to me the curtains are being opened, with FSG behind them.


    Oh yeah, and sign Kovacic (Dang I digress a lot)

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  29. Well, move Can to CB with Lucas, Allen at DM, and Sterling and Marko as FBs. Rossiter is our new GK.

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  30. Or sharpened square peg....

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  31. It's nothing like the plot to that Bill Murray film.

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  32. Hi Orme. I like your thinking on our midfield and I hope it does work out like that next season. A dedicated DM would be nice and bring some much needed balance (and extra body behind the ball) and I think we can find that in our squad without having to spend zillions. Lucas wasn't a DM when he came to us from Gremio and he's been that balance for us when he's kept himself fit over a consistent period

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  33. It's nothing like the plot to that Bill Murray film

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  34. Is that Logan's new name?

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  35. What film was that?

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  36. Could you repeat that please

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  37. What film was that...?

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  38. Kovacic would sign and immediately be our technically best midfielder, but we'd still need an experienced pass maestro, that regista that VermHat mentioned. Ever Banega showed tonight that he's still got it. How about it?

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  39. Agree. But I just love Couts and the false nine worked once so...

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  40. The kid looks the goods,hopefully the new coaching staff FSG are bringing in will make sure B.R doesn't ruin him,but utilize him properly.

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  41. I'd go for Song technically sound, experienced, who's played at the highest level and is about 10m

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  42. And get Johannes Geis also. He is a specialist DM with a great passing range and good at set peices. That would be a young back up for each midfielder. Can, Geis, and Kovacic in a few years would be so dynamic. Has the potential to be as good as Mascherano, Alonso, and Gerrard one day

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  43. Not a permanent solution probably, but would just fine I think. Kondogbia being my favourite...

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  44. Yes also a great option. I just think we have so many youngsters song + plus milner (not my prefered by the way) will bring that experience that is vital for us next season.

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  45. Gut feeling tells me this boy is going to be our first-choice right back or right wing back. BR loves this type of player, one without a defined position and supposedly able to play in at least 7 different positions. That's why James 'Marquee' Milner is the next world class player that is really 'desperate' to sign for us.

    It's best BR decides a formation for next season before buying anyone. It's really terrible to see players being made utility players and constantly being played out of position. BR not getting the boot is a painful thing for me. There nothing personal here but the inability to decide a position, failure in bringing in the 'right' players and made his existing players playing cluelessly out of position made me thoroughly sick.
    Last summer (maybe even longer), right back position was a problem. With 120 mil pounds on hand, nothing was done. Last summer, striker position was a grave problem. With the same 120 mil pounds on hand, again nothing was done. Since we have to stick to BR for at least one more season, we shall see what he will do to address the two areas of problem, especially the striker position. Hopefully not the same old trash again, target only one world-class striker the entire summer, drag the whole bl**dy thing on, sure to get rejected flatly eventually then panick-buy some strange character hoping he turn world-class.

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  46. Thanks for your reply....but find it very difficult to get behind someone who is clueless arrogant, inept, deluded ego inflated, failure at what he does. Embarrassing to our club and as a man I have little respect, nevertheless everyone is entitled to their option.

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  47. Muhammad, I'm better than Allen.

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  48. I think we should keep Allen, he's not the Xavi-bole Brendan sold us but IMO what he IS is a team player and as we saw at the end of the season they can be thin on the ground at times, he always puts a shift in and I kind of think some of his work goes unnoticed.
    Don't think we'd make mega money selling him and feel he'd only ever work harder if left out for a game or three, - a lot of games in a season for the other mercenaries to manage so I'm sure he'd earn his wages overall.

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  49. One thing it's going to be is intriguing - all the way up until August and then I'm hoping for ^unpredictable and fluid^... not headless and chicken.

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  50. Whoa there cowboy, hold them stallions. Sorry don't mean to sound argumentative but no RB - Manquillo, No striker - Rickster, Balo etc etc, we're they BR's choice, first, last or only? who knows, but your throwing stones without aim, IMO.

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  51. Is the job impossible if we start another season with BR at the helm in your opinion or can it be done with the right team, was he a passenger during Suarez' tenure.

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  52. I don't hate the man, but can't say that his staying was my first choice. I wanted Klopp and thing we could have gotten him. Now we've choice but to support Brendan because if Rodgers succeeds then LFC succeeds.

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  53. I also agree with the versatility point you make it makes players look clueless while they are playing and constant tinkering means very few liverpool players have a definite style. But your comments on how Emre Can cannot become a quality in the future is one I disagree. For one whenever he plays in midfield his position sense is excellent, lucas position sense has been good only in his peak(age 28). This Can guy is 21. Sure he probably has some work to do but he is not that far from a finished article

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  54. Seriously, my friend, signing a 20 years old Spaniard who has played 15 games all in all for Atletico Madrid over 3 years and expecting him to come to a new country new league and challenge the although bad but still-established England international in Glen Johnson. I'm not sure about anyone else, but I seriously regard the signing of the boy as nothing more than a move to bolster the U21 squad. Lambert was meant to be a backup, my guess of course, and Balo was a panic buy after wasting the entire summer chasing after Alexis Sanchez. Did anyone of us out there expecting the arrival of these two players could cover the loss of a top-5 striker in the world? I don't, personally.

    Yup you are right, are they BR's first, last or only choice is anybody's guess. But based on the 120 mil pounds he was armed with plus the entry ticket to UCL last summer, the solutions he presented for the problem areas after the transfer window closed, now cheekily with reference to our final standing in the league table at the end of the season, I wish to say that BR did nothing to address the problem areas last summer. Of course, not unless you are referring to the literal number of additions to the team. If yes, then I will have to apologised for not making myself clear in my previous post.

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  55. Think we all hoped Flanno would return to his natural berth as RB, he earned that the season before I think, maybe Manquillo in addition wouldn't of been so bad.
    Lambert as plan B - mixed on that one, seemed that most fans, including myself were happy with that, maybe a bit like the Ings talk now - all good so long as not in isolation, of course that too was the hope last summer and as you mention Sanchez could of been the glue that held it all together, never happened and instead Mario came, - the fans backed him, the manager didn't, Studge needed some glue too.
    I fear I probably do sound like a broken record at times but I will neither agree nor disagree for the sake of it and in this case as with most, I don't think we're too far off in opinion, just we differ slightly on who may be to blame, no matter though we both want the same outcome next season ;-)

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  56. It could just be that Inter need the money. We didn't want to sell Mascherano or Suarez, but we did it anyway.

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  57. Waste of money o meter 2015: 18 million

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  58. Err didh't Inter sell us Coutinho for 8.5m? So it hardly means that if they want to sell a player he will not be a success.


    Inter have a good group of midfielders and it more a case of they need to sell to fund moves to strengthen other areas of the team where they are not so well stacked.

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  59. I'm not being ironic but we could well start with that team with Allen in there somewhere perhaps in goal

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  60. Its my favourite Barry manilow song to

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  61. I rember a similar thing being said about Allen

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  62. It will be interesting to see how he does at full back or wing back because that's where all Rodgers signings end up. At present we have 23 in the squad not of which want to play there

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  63. But this Inter has now the new owner form Singapur. He was FSG's opponent for Liverpool ownership. I hope we did not make the same mistake like a few years ago with DIC. I still don't have a good explanation why Shaquiri choosed Inter over us, except again the story of Rodgers tenure in LFC. The other manager, Mancini has a better CV.

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