Mateo Kovačić has admitted that he would like to see former Internazionale teammate Mauro Icardi join him in Madrid. However, the Croatian insisted that the Argentine international would have to fight for his place alongside Karim Benzema in the Los Blancos starting lineup.
The Austrian-born Croatia internaional moved to Real Madrid in 2015, completing a €31m transfer after impressing as a teenager at Inter and Dinamo Zagreb.
Kovačić has largely been on the fringes of the first-team at the Santiago Bernabéu, making just 80 appearances for the reigning European champions.
“I have played with [Icardi], he’s a very good player who scores a lot of goals,” Kovačić told Marca. “But we have the best forward in the world, which is Karim. Icardi is good and could help us for sure, but I don’t talk about signings.”
Icardi – who was actually a youth team star at Real Madrid’s fierce rivals Barcelona – has been vital for the Nerazzurri this season, helping Inter to the top of the Serie A table ahead of Napoli and Juventus.
With 16 league goals this season – just nine less than the entire Real Madrid squad have managed in La Liga – the former Barcelona academy player won’t come cheap for any potential suitors.
“There is no need to convince him to commit further to Inter,” There is no need to convince him to commit further to Inter,” Inter’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, said, as reported by Goal.
“His contract is long and his commitment is clear, he is our captain and wants to win with this shirt. All this goes beyond the contracts and the clauses.
“Real Madrid haven’t contacted us, but it would be their job to convince Mauro to leave a project like ours in which he is the protagonist. Also, a release clause is not a problem.”