Manchester United and Liverpool have suffered a blow in their pursuit of signing Mateo Kovacic after the midfielder admitted that his future is at Inter Milan.
According to talkSPORT, the Italian club were looking for a player-plus-cash deal in signing United striker Javier Hernandez in the summer, while allowing Kovacic to move to Old Trafford.
The Merseyside club are also keen on acquiring the 19-year-old's services. Liverpool were reportedly eyeing a move for Kovacic as a possible long-term replacement for the Reds' skipper Steven Gerrard.
Kovacic joined Inter from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2013. He has been a regular figure this season, making 28 league appearances so far. The midfielder's sudden rise has seen him receive a call for Croatia's national team as he made his debut against Serbia in March 2013.
Inter midfielder's impressive form has attracted interest from top clubs across England. The Express reports, Arsenal, along with United and Liverpool are also interested in signing Kovacic. But the Croatian international has put all rumours surrounding his future to bed.
"The press have to write something. I may be young but I have learned so far that journalists must speculate on something every day. But all that is not a burden for me. I have a contract until 2017 and my future is with Inter," the Express quoted Kovacic as saying.
"I'm really happy that I'm part of such a great club. So all I'm thinking right now is how to become [a] better player, how to help my team to get much better results."
"I'm young, so I have a lot of time. And I'm still adapting. But I'm happy and also everybody at Inter are happy with me. And that counts the most to me," Inter midfielder added.
United were dealt another blow after Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan decided to extend his stay with the Bundesliga outfit until 2016. With the Red Devils set to miss out on the German international and Kovacic this summer, David Moyes will be looking elsewhere to strengthen his side's midfield.