Former Inter star Luis Suarez believes the Nerazzurri are making a mistake by selling Mateo Kovacic toReal Madrid and feels a similar situation to that of Andrea Pirlo back in the noughties could be on the cards.
Inter offloaded Pirlo to Milan in 2001 after he had failed to secure regular first-team action, only to watch him go on to become one of the best midfielders in Italy’s modern history.
And Suarez believes 21-year-old Kovacic has an equally bright future ahead of him.
“Mateo was key to Inter’s future; he’s a player who is at a superior level,” Suarez told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The comparison with Pirlo is quite clear to see; and similarly, Andrea was sold without having been given the chance to gain confidence, the time and patience to allow him to mature and to turn into the kind of player he went on to become.
“Kovacic has the class to become the next Pirlo and the argument that he doesn’t undertake his defensive duties doesn’t hold water because Pirlo didn’t defend either when he was at that age.
“He could go on to become even better than Andrea in that aspect of his game.”
Madrid and Inter have reached an agreement over a transfer fee in the region of €35 million, with Kovacic expected to sign a long-term deal in the Spanish capital later this week.