Mateo Kovacic believes Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has what it takes to play for Real Madrid, amid reports suggesting that the La Liga club are considering making a move for the Argentine striker in January.
Kovacic, who played alongside Icardi for two seasons at Inter, said the 24-year-old has enough quality to play for the 12-time European champions, but that Real are happy with Karim Benzema at the moment.
Icardi is reported to be on Madrid's January transfer wish list, along with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Real have made a stuttering start to their defence of the La Liga title and are trailing leaders Barcelona by eight points, with the poor form of forwards Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo a particular area of concern for coach Zinedine Zidane.
"I have played with [Icardi], he's a very good player who scores a lot of goals," Kovacic told Spanish daily Marca.
"But we have the best forward in the world, which is Karim. Icardi is good and could help us for sure, but I don't talk about signings."
Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio said earlier this week that the Serie A club were under no pressure to sell the €200m-rated Icardi to Real Madrid, pointing out that the player had more than three years left on his contract at San Siro.
"There is no need to convince him to commit further to Inter," Ausilio was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
"His contract is long and his commitment is clear, he is our captain and wants to win with this shirt. All this goes beyond the contracts and the clauses.
"Real Madrid haven't contacted us, but it would be their job to convince Mauro to leave a project like ours in which he is the protagonist. Also, a release clause is not a problem."
Real Madrid face a crucial home clash against Sevilla this weekend. A defeat to the Andalusian side would push the hosts out of the top four in La Liga and considerably raise the heat on Zidane.