?Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says there is no truth to the rumours linking Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic with a move to Liverpool.

Croatia international Kovacic has been linked linked with a move to Anfield, with the Reds eager to bolster their squad ahead of their Champions League campaign, during which they will face Spartak Moscow, Maribor and Sevilla.

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana: 2nd Leg

However, Spanish journalist Balague believes Kovacic will not be joining Liverpool anytime soon with Real Madrid ruling out a sale of the former Inter midfielder.

He said, via Sky Sports’ La Liga Twitter account: “No. Kovacic was actually approached by two Italian clubs and Real Madrid said in no uncertain terms that he’s not for sale.”

With Philippe Coutinho’s future still seemingly unresolved, Liverpool have used the likes of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and James Milner in midfield areas so far this season.

Many had expected Coutinho to drop from an attacking role into a midfield one in order to accommodate the recent arrival of Mohamed Salah, who has joined the club from Roma after scoring 15 Serie A goals last season.

However, Coutinho has been out of action with a back injury amid transfer interest from Barcelona, who are looking to replace the recently-departed Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world record transfer worth £198m.

Kovacic has found it difficult to break into Real Madrid’s starting XI since joining the club in 2015, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, seen as two of the best midfielders in the world, regularly starting for Zinedine Zidane’s side.


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