Manchester United are set to miss out on Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic — because he doesn’t want to plaOKy under Jose Mourinho.
The 24-year-old Croatia midfielder – rated at £54million – is keen to leave Madrid in search of regular first-team football.
United have made an approach for the player but, according to Spanish publication Marca, he has made it clear that he is “not interested” because he fears that the style of play at Old Trafford would not suit him.
It has left the way clear for the likes of Bayern Munich to move in ahead ahead of next week’s Premier League transfer deadline.
Kovacic joined Madrid from Inter Milan, another of Mourinho’s former clubs, but was not at either side when the Portuguese was in charge.
He returns to training shortly following his role in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final.
It is the latest blow to the troubled Red Devils, with Mourinho’s tactics and man-management style in the spotlight.
He is currently at loggerheads with striker Anthony Martial who has gone AWOL after leaving United’s pre-season tour of the USA to attend the birth of his second child.
Chelsea are another team reportedly interested in signing Kovacic.
Maurizio Sarri has only completed two transfers since being named Blues boss; Jorginho from his former side Napoli, and back-up goalkeeper Robert Green, and time is running out.
But new Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui is reportedly keen on keeping hold of the midfielder ahead of his first season in charge of the La Liga giants.