West Ham have tabled an official offer for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, according to Tutto MercatoWeb.
The Italian outlet claims that Roma, Juventus and Napoli have all been following Kovacic, who is currently starring for Croatia at the World Cup.
However, they claim that West Ham are leading the way and are the only club to table an official bid for the 5ft 8 star so far.
However, the Liverpool Echo has claimed he would prefer to move to a club with Champions League football, and that he has a release clause of £45million.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the West Ham bid comes as a “shock” with the big Serie A clubs, along with Man United and Liverpool also being credited with an interest. But Manuel Pellegrini is setting his sights high at West Ham this summer, and he has the pedigree to attract big names. The lack of European football might put Kovacic off, and his stock is only set to rise as Croatia look to mount a serious challenge in Russia. They face hosts Russia in the quarter-finals and could easily progress through to the semi-finals on Saturday. Kovacic has featured in all four of Croatia’s games so far, including the dramatic 4-3 win on penalties against Denmark last Sunday. That could see a club with Champions League football come in for him, but at present West Ham are in pole position with a bid in place. There’s no talk of how much that bid is for and what Real Madrid’s response was, but we imagine this one doesn’t progress much until Kovacic’s journey in Russia comes to an end. One thing is sure – he’d be a fantastic addition to the West Ham squad if Pellegrini could swing it.