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Liverpool £3.5m away from fifth signing of the summer

If Liverpool up their offer for Inter Milan star Mateo Kovacic by £3.5 million they will be able to complete a move for him, reports Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport.

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The Reds have already made a £14.3 million move for the 21-year-old, but the Nerazzurri want £17.8 million for the youngster. Kovacic played 42 times for Roberto Mancini’s side last season, scoring five goals and assisting another three. He has quickly grown in to one of the team’s most important players since making his debut in February 2013.

Brendan Rodgers is interested in the midfielder after Anfield legend Steven Gerrard agreed a deal with LA Galaxy to move to the MLS. Losing the 35-year-old will be a blow, although his influence was waning in the last campaign.

Kovacic could be the perfect replacement for the former England international, having several similar attributes. He is able to make an impact at both ends of the pitch and should be able to grow in to the role that Gerrard has vacated in the Reds’ team. With James Milner having already joined the club, the Croatia international could form a new partnership in midfield for Rodgers.

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