Liverpool are going to put their efforts in to signing Inter Milan star Mateo Kovacic after completing their move for Hoffenheim ace Roberto Firmino, reports the Daily Express.
The Reds completed a £29 million move for Firmino on Wednesday, with the transfer confirmed on the club’s official website.
The Brazil international is a major coup for the Merseyside club as it had originally been thought that Manchester United were in pole position to sign him, according to the Metro. The transfer is a major signal of intent from manager Brendan Rodgers after failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, and also represents an ambitious outlay on the part of the owners.
Liverpool’s spending looks to continue for some time yet, with Inter’s signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia [BBC] meaning that Roberto Mancini may be more willing to cash in on the 20-year-old, with the Reds set to be the key beneficiaries.
Kovacic, like Firmino, would represent another major addition. The 21-year-old has been impressive for the Nerazzurri for the last few years, slowly turning himself in to a first-team regular at the San Siro. In the last campaign he managed five goals and three assists in 42 games.
However, it is perhaps more important that the youngster could be a direct replacement for departing Anfield legend Steven Gerrard. He has a similar propensity for great passes and long-distance shots, which will be important for Rodgers with the 35-year-old about to join MLS side LA Galaxy. Gerrard played 38 games in all competitions last time round and has been their talisman for the past 17 years, so the youngster will have some big shoes to fill.
Liverpool are prepared to make a £15 million bid for the midfielder according to the Express, but Inter are thought to want £21 million. Having just spent big on Firmino this won’t seem that big a step up for the Anfield hierarchy though. The Croatia international could be their sixth signing of the summer after Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, and Firmino.
Earlier in the year, Arsenal were linked with the Croatian. According to the Metro they had been given the ‘green light’ to sign the youngster, and it remains to be seen whether Gunners will also look to move for the versatile midfielder.