Suitors lining up for hotshot Jovic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, February 14, 2019
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Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic during the match against Borussia Dortmund in Germany on Feb 2, 2019.

The main stand of Eintracht Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena was packed with scouts from Europe's top clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Their target is 21-year-old Serbian striker Luka Jovic, who took his season tally to 18 goals in the 1-1 draw with league leader Borussia Dortmund on Feb 2.

Eintracht's director of soccer, Fredi Bobic, knows well that it will be tough to convince the forward to stay longer than next summer when his loan from Benfica expires.

"Looking at his performance, it's obvious he is on the way to becoming world class," Bobic said after the draw with Dortmund.

Unhappy at warming the bench at Benfica, Jovic joined Eintracht on loan for 200,000 euros ($227,000) in 2017, helping the Eagles reach the German Cup final, where they pulled off a massive shock by beating Bayern Munich 3-1.

The goals have continued to flow for Jovic this term and, in October, he became the youngest player to score five in a Bundesliga match as Eintracht demolished Fortuna Dusseldorf 7-1.

Jovic said he owes his success to former Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac, now in charge at Bayern.

"I owe Niko Kovac the success I currently have. He gets the most out of you," said Jovic, who has been capped three times for his country.

Frankfurt has an option to sign Jovic permanently, worth "below the reported 12 million euros", as Frankfurt sport director Bruno Hubner put it.

The player is now thought to be commanding a price of at least 40 million euros, with a reunion with Kovac at Bayern looking ever more likely.

After a poor start to the season that sees the Bavarian giant trailing Dortmund by five points, Bayern is keen to add firepower to its ranks, with Jovic reportedly on its radar.

There are also murmurings that Real Madrid and Barcelona could come knocking. Spanish media say Real has identified Jovic as a possible successor to Karim Benzema after Los Blancos cooled their interest in Bayern's Robert Lewandowski, Paris Saint-Germain's Edison Cavani and Tottenham's Harry Kane.

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