Real Madrid’s tumultuous pre-season could be set to fall under even greater scrutiny with Luka Jovic facing an uncertain future only two months after joining the club for £62million.
Spanish publication Marca cite two reports in Jovic’s homeland of Serbia stating that Real boss Zinedine Zidane has been left unimpressed by the striker and is already prepared for him to leave on loan.
Jovic was the first signing of Zidane’s meticulously planned summer overhaul, penning a six-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu after scoring relentlessly for Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt last season.
The 21-year-old’s settling in process has been hampered by a knock sustained in a 7-3 pre-season defeat by rivals Atletico Madrid in July.
But Zidane is said to be unconvinced overall by what he has seen from the striker as he gets set for the start of the La Liga season on Saturday, with Real away to Celta Vigo.
Zidane and Real have endured a nightmare pre-season on and off the pitch.
The Frenchman has tried desperately to get rid of Gareth Bale, but the club pulled the plug on his move to China at the 11th hour after Marco Asensio tore his cruciate ligament in a friendly with Arsenal.
It’s an injury that likely rules the attacker out of the entirety of the 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, Eden Hazard, Real’s landmark signing of the summer in a deal worth up to £150m from Chelsea, arrived for pre-season overweight.
Results on the pitch, even in pre-season, have been bad enough for Zidane to face questions over the setup at the club.
Defeat on penalties by Roma on Sunday after a 2-2 draw saw Real finish their preparations for the new campaign having shipped 18 goals in seven friendlies, recording only two wins.
And as Zidane’s attention falls solely on Sunday’s league opener against Celta Vigo, Jovic’s involvement in the matchday squad could be a signal to where his future lies.
While the Premier League transfer window is now closed, clubs across the rest of Europe have until September 2 (aside from Italy, where the window closes on August 23) to sign the Serbia international, who hit 27 goals in 46 games at Frankfurt last season.