With only a day left in the transfer window, Italian giants Inter Milan have confirmed the signing of 18-year old Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
This news comes only hours after they let go of another promising midfielder, Phillipe Coutinho, to Liverpool. With the sale of Coutinho for £8.5m, Kovačić looks to be getting €11 million with a performance bonus in the €4 million range. Before the deal is finalized, Kovačić will have to undergo a medical at the Nerazzurri camp on Thursday, which he should surely pass. Along with the signing, Kovačić looks to be followed by two other midfielders; Serbian international Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Argentine Ezequiel Schelotto.
The addition of two other midfielders could be troubling news for the 18 year-old and his chances at a starting gig at the Italian club. Kovačić has seen a bit of a fall in performance recently, as he hasn’t been able to play as freely as he would like to. Either way, joining his fellow countrymen, Marko Livaja, in a new system, could be just what the youngster needs to kickstart his professional career.
What’s your take on the transfer, and how do you think the next golden boy for Croatia will live up to his expectations?
UPDATE: Marko Livaja has been loaned out to Atalanta in the Schelotto deal. Kovačić will be the only Croatian playing on Inter in the second half of the season.
Yea, it’s hard to get a work permit in England. That’s why Lovren’s transfer to Liverpool fell.
Also, there is a non-EU cap for Serie A players. That’s the reason why Igor Bubnjic is finishing off the season with Slaven Belupo while Udinese waits until Croatia joins the EU.
Kovacic is already an EU citizen having been born in Austria, so none of this applies to him.
I think you’re right about that. Once we enter the EU, all the barriers come down. Now, buying a non-EU player is a major barrier for Italian clubs. There is another rule in the EPL that has to do with NT caps, so that’s why a lot of Croatian players can’t get in. I think that was Pletikosa’s problem the first time he was supposed to make a transfer to the EPL, that was supposed to be his first transfer I believe, or maybe the one while he was playing for Shaktar.
I agree with one thing the most that Rapaic said, Kova was the best player when Dinamo played against Real Madrid, and that was when he was only 16. I understand, that game was hardly a game at all when you’re looking at the difference in quality, but still, there’s no reason a 16 year old should be your best player…..ever
And you can’t really comment about Radosevic’s and Kova’s balance when they’re 18 years old, their 18…how physically developed where you at 18 compared to when you were 25 or 30 even, just naturally it’s different. That’s the reason why you can’t really analyze Halilovic yet and why Stimac won’t call Halilovic up yet, he’s a fucking kid, can’t even drive yet much less physically tussle with men
I could be wrong, but i think their is a limit on the # on non-EU players can can play at one time for a club tam in Serie A.
Jelavic is decent with the side volley.
Petric/Klasnic were, but I am not sure if they have it in them anymore.
Amazing goal! I couldn’t picture any of our current strikers pulling that off.
What are the rules for foreign players in Serie A?
Are they required have a minimum # of NT caps or is that only the EPL.
I always liked this one.
Long ball from Rakitic to Srna. Deflected cross to Eduardo for a stunner.
Imagine if Croatia had stability and ambition for its young players Champions league Europa would be fun watching our teams play but as soon as one player grows we sell thats life. So Badelj Kovacic sold wheres Sammiric how is he on the National team come on man Kovacic didnt play one game for croatia and got sold whats with this sammir we have kovacic modric badelj radosevic rakitic perisic kranjcar ilicevic when zdrav wedding boy andrijasevic soon halilovic time for sammir to never get called
Completely agree! Off balance, holding the ball too long, and needs work on that final pass. I only wish the him the best though.
after hearing all the fuss about kovacic i expected a lot more. the video was disappointing for me. he obviously has great skill, but what i saw was that he held the ball too long, made bad passes, and was off balance on many of his possessions. i’m not impressed, but yet again i haven’t watched him play a full match, only some highlights. best of luck to the youngster
Mamicu cigane odlazi iz svetinje!
Mamić is saying that the 11M Euro number is incorrect.
According to Mamić, he turned down 11M that was offered by Man City, and the offer made by Inter is a guaranteed 13M with another 2M Euro coming Dinamo’s way if Inter make the Champions League next season. So, the performance bonuses are not linked to Kovačić himself.
Not sure if he’s just blowing smoke to justify the sale, but then again, he was telling the truth about the BiH call up for Halilović last month. Maybe he’ll post the transfer agreement on Dinamo’s website.
Rapaić: “Kada sam prvi put gledao Kovačića, podsjetio me na Roberta Baggija”
Prvi dan u Interu: Cambiasso i Zanetti upoznali novu desetku
Štimac: Zabrinut sam zbog Kovačića i Radoševića
Awful, still shot of the UK style goon’s mid shin, stiff legged tackle.
I guess Dudu suffered the fate of many skilled players. Constantly fouled by lesser players.
Thanks for putting that up Dixie.
Warning: May make grown men emotional!
Guns make us Americans better with computers. Wink Wink
Wish I was tech-savvy enough to attach this video i just watched on Youtube, but I’m not. It’s called ” Eduardo Da Silva – The New, The Old, and the Always.” It’s about 10 minutes long and it should remind everyone why we opened our hearts to this man. God would he have fit in nicely on our Euro ’08 team. Pretty surprised to see how much he’s loved by the English when you read the comments below too.
Man, our young talent leaves the HNL at a younger age every year.
Modric was turning 23 when he left for Spurs. Kovacic is four years younger and going to Inter. It’s a hit and miss whether or not this is good for his development or not. It depends on the coach.
But it’s nice to see such a high demand for Croatian talent. This month we’ve seen Pavlovic, Kovacic, and Radosevic go to some quality teams. It seems like every transfer window there’s a Croatian prospect going somewhere.
Dixie is Correct, before Modric left for Spurs he already had 4-5 seasons in the HNL, played in a European Championship as well.
I hope the best for Kovacic, to me he is the best prospect in Croatia, and probably the best attacking player in the HNL, unfortunately Mamic gives Sammir all the press and Stimac gave him a cap before Kovacic, but hopefully that will change now
Italian clubs generally don’t play youngsters, but they spent 10-15 million on him so I have a feeling they will give him a chance. The problem is he will have to prove himself quick
Overall it says something about him that he was signed so young to one of the real classic great teams of Europe, but I can’t help be a little pessimistic. I read an article today on 24sata saying inter has signed four players this young before in the last 20 years, only one of them succeeded, Adriano. In total they paid 48 million euros for the four, so money isn’t the excuse. All we can really do is wait and see, and that coach gives young players a chance which is good.
Hopefully, he has the same or better setup that Livaja had. Play in the europa league, and then hopefully come off the bench in the Serie A. I know Livaja didn’t get to do that, but I think if that’s the way it turns out for this half of the season, it was a success. A real success would be him becoming the 12th man or even a starter sometime in the 2013/2014 season
Modric was older and had more NT caps before going to Spurs.
Didn’t Dinamo actually beat Ajax when Modric played for them?
Modric was more of a finished product when he left Dinamo.
I wish him the best, but it aint going to be easy.
To go to such a huge club for an 18 year old can only help his development.
Good luck to him and hopefully he breaks into the national team sooner rather than later.
As far as I know incentives include things like, but not all:
A certain number of…
Form in different competitions: Euro, Champs, League
Bonus if they make certain levels of qualification in tournaments.
There is probably quite a few other factors, but I would guess that those are judged on a team by team basis.
Modric got man of the match in his debut for Tottenham
@Armada even Modric wasn’t that kind of prospect when he first appeared in London. Tottenham fans were SCREAMING for a refund for about half the season until Redknapp took over. Inter would have even more expectations and Mateo isn’t as polished of a talent (which is understandable since he’s only 18).
does anyone know what kind of incentives get included in a contract like this? i have no idea how they are structured but my one worry would be there are clauses that he would get paid extra based on minutes played or matches started which could be an incentive for the team not to play him to save on salary
I think Kovacic has a great future ahead of him, but in my two cents:
Too much depth at Inter. It’s not like they’re going to plug him in immediately. He’ll have a few chances to show what he’s made of but I don’t think he’s a Luka Modric type prospect where he could go to a top side and turn heads off the bat and cement a spot in the starting XI. Plus, Serie A is notorious for not playing kids.
I just see him getting loaned out to some bottom rung Serie A team. I think he was better off going to a German or English side.
I wish him the best, but to move to italy at 18 and be that good at dribbling might actually be his down fall. Lets face it Italians dont like to be embarrassed, if he dribbles like that he will get his ankle broken. Im going to use VanBasten as an example. but like i said i wish him the best and a long healthy career.
Looks like he is getting the # 10 shirt at Inter. After off-loading Coutinho and Sneijder, the club were in the hunt for an attacking midfielder and got Kovacic.
I hope it works out for him. My feelings are mixed though. I would have rather him stayed longer to develop.
In fact, I wanted them to cash-in on Sammir who is older, and then move the younger Kovacic into his position.
Great for the guy.
Didn’t know he was that good. The video was really impressive. He became too good for the Croatian Leauge.
It will probably take some time before he’s in the starting 11 of Inter. But once he’s there, Stimac can’t look next to him anymore.
Kovacic will be wearing the #10 jersey, last worn by sneijder
@Bobby V-Good points about Kovacic,I agree about his explosiveness,dribbling and still needing some coaching about seeing the field better to improve his play.Funnily enough he did reming me a little of Prosinecki while watching a highlight video of him recently.May he keep “growing”.
For Dinamo’s sake, I’m appalled and upset by this, but really of expected it. For Kovacic’s sake, there is nothing better for this kid. This is HUGE! He gets to leave the HNL and go to a club like Inter! Who would turn that down? He will get top coaching and exposure. I’m sad for Dinamo, but that’s nothing new, but I’m thrilled one of their products has once again made it to the big stage. Good for him. Mamic is probably bathing in that 11 mill while blowing his nose in small bills. He’s partying with that cash tonight.
hahah, man I dont know how the hell u guys find some of these videos. SoCRO haha, guy is a legend, we should get him down to pedro, that crowd would like him, haha.
May this be Ziva?
For me, Kovacic has more potential than Halilovic. His first touch and the explosiveness when he starts dribbling is outstanding. He just needs to be coached to see the field better, which will improve his passing. He’s getting too tired quickly. Mateo reminds me of a cross between Boban and Prosinecki.
Halilovic reminds me more of a young Gheroge Hagi – great dribbler, sees the field very well and has a deadly accurate outside shot. He’s not as fast as Mateo and, in my opinion, will need to become stronger – he will be knocked off the ball a lot more in the future.
@Poglavnik-I would think its pretty safe to say he is all “Croat”,yes,where he is from is a pretty serb area,but was about 1/3 Croat just before the war.Mateo is a pretty non serb name also.Good enough for me.
I think you know more about him than I do. Parents are both cro and moved from northern Bosnia at the start of the war to Austria, where Mateo was born.
Whats the story with his ethnicity? Are his parents Catholic Croatians? They seem to be from a Serbian part of Bosna. They did flee so I’m guessing he’s pretty Croatian.
Ziva, you got any input on this?
Radosevic won’t play for Napoli’s first team I don’t think…read he will be with their junior team or they might loan him back to Hajduk
I don’t know about Kovacic, but this guy to me is the biggest prospect in Croatia and its a shame on both Dinamo and NT fucking Sammir is taking his spot (Kovacic should have debuted for the NT already, not Sammir, and at Dinamo Kovacic played a deeper role to accomodate Sammir)
I wish kovacic luck. He is a very good kid. But, I got my doubts. He was not even close to being the best MF at dinamo.
Surprised at the sum but good for him and I hope he succeeds.
Radosevic also just signed with Napoli for 3 million euros. Now Hajduk can try catch up on paying player wages.