It has been an unusual summer in the Spanish capital as Florentino Pérez apparently misplaced his checkbook as Real Madrid had only spent €52m on new signings this summer, more than 60% (€31.5m) of that spent on the signing Danilo from Porto.
But after a full preseason to look over his squad, Rafa Benitez has decided that he needs anther young creative talent and Real have splashed the cash on 21-year old Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan for a reported €35.5m.
Inter signed Kovacic in January 2013 for €11 million from Dinamo Zagreb, so the €35.5m fee represents a huge profit for a club that is struggling to adapt to Financial Fair Play.
But to Inter fans, the selling of Kovacic is eerily similar to the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool. A player, like Kovacic, who was not given the time to develop at Inter and blossomed into a star once he left the San Siro.
If Kovacic shines at the Bernabéu then questions will have to be asked about Inter boss Roberto Mancini who this summer has let go Xherdan Shaqiri and Kovacic. Two brilliant young talents that Mancini failed to develop and utilize.
Mancini has blamed Financial Fair Play for the departure of the two young talents saying:
“Am I disappointed about Kovacic? It’s a shame, but unfortunately there are rules that must be respected,” Mancini told Sport Mediaset Premium after a friendly draw with AEK Athens.
“I don’t think any of us didn’t want him here, but to respect the Financial Fair Play parameters we had to do something.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t make a squad capable of challenging. We are all disappointed, from the President to the players, but faced with rules we have to make sacrifices. It’s a pity some don’t understand that.
“Kovacic and Xherdan Shaqiri left for the same reason, so now perhaps we can do other things. We hope to sign suitable players soon, even if the transfer market goes on for the rest of August.
“Having sacrificed two important players will allow us to take other elements in roles where we are lacking. Full-back and midfielder? We’ll see.”
Mancini had other options for players he could have sold (like Guarin, Medel and Hernanes) but ultimately he decided to sell these two.
Do you think Inter will regret the sale of Kovacic to Real Madrid, much like they have Coutinho to Liverpool?