Liverpool close to £17 million Kovacic deal

21-year-old Croatian is seen as a perfect replacement for Steven Gerrard

Liverpool are close to agreeing a £17 million deal to sign Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan.

It is understood the Reds are “closer than ever” to completing a deal for the highly regarded Austrian-born Croatian, who has also created interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Internazionale are resigned to losing their young star, who has scored five goals in 80 appearances for the club, despite their struggles to be a force in Serie A once again.

The Italian side were understood to be holding out for £25 million, but have resigned themselves to agreeing a cut-price fee, as Brendan Rodgers looks to find Gerrard’s perfect replacement.

Skrtel Serie A bound?

However, despite Inter’s admission that a cut-price deal could be done, Reds defender Martin Skrtel could go the other way, with the 30-year-old refusing to sign what he called “unacceptable” terms.

Legia Warsaw’s Ondrej Duda has been lined up as Inter’s replacement, should Kovacic move to Anfield. While Skrtel’s potential departure from Anfield isn’t final yet, as the club could back with a better offer.

Kovacic joined Inter for £11 million back in 2013 from Dinamo Zagreb.

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