Almost immediately after joining Real Madrid from Inter Milan last summer, voices whispered about the potential for Mateo Kovacic to join AC Milan down the road. Many pundits foresaw Kovacic receiving little playing time in a stacked Madrid midfield and eventually seeking more playing time away from Madrid. Knowing that AC Milan have always coveted the Croatian midfielder, and that Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is a close friend and frequent transfer collaborator of Milan CEO Adriano Galliani, it made sense that Kovacic could be an option for the Rossoneri in the future. This long and drawn out theory gained some credibility on Champions League weekend in Milan, when both Kovacic and Galliani refused to rule out a potential transfer this summer.
Kovacic acknowledged that this season was a difficult one for him, and when asked specifically about the possibility of joining Milan in the summer, the young midfielder said, "Anything can happen in life, but I'm not thinking about that at the moment". This hardly sounds like a resounding denial, especially coming from a player who just signed a 5 year contract at his new club last summer.
Galliani was asked about a potential transfer for Karim Benzema, and firmly denied that a summer switch was possible. However, when questioned about Kovacic, Galliani's ominous response was, "We'll see".
It's no secret that Milan have long coveted Kovacic, as the Rossoneri were linked to him both before his Inter switch, as well as last summer when he was set to depart the Nerazzurri. Despite struggling in his debut season with Los Blancos, Kovacic has cemented himself as an incredibly promising creative midfielder who can play as a deep lying playmaker, or as an attacking midfielder. Moreover, Kovacic is a proven commodity in Serie A, a fact that would certainly entice Milan to make an offer for him.
With Milan's parent company Fininvest currently locked in exclusive negotiations with a Chinese consortium to sell the majority of Milan, the transfer market is still very much on the backburner. However, a Chinese takeover would almost guarantee an active transfer window for the Rossoneri, and that would give even more credence to the Kovacic rumors.