Mateo Kovacic
Inter Milan's Kovacic (left) is expected to be a world-class player in the futureReuters

Liverpool are reportedly targeting Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic as a long-term replacement for their captain Steven Gerrard, who is set to leave Anfield this summer.

Gerrard recently shocked everyone by announcing that he would be leaving Liverpool to join Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

Ever since, the Merseyside club have been busy looking at possible replacements for the 34-year-old, who will be leaving Anfield after 17 years.

And according to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers feels that Kovacic will be the perfect player to replace Gerrard.

The 21-year-old midfielder is known for his versatility as he is capable of playing in a number of positions including centre/defensive midfield, behind the striker and left wing.

Furthermore, Kovacic is also known for his knack of scoring regular goals from the midfield.

Arsenal have also been linked with a summer move for the Croatian, but Liverpool are reportedly confident that they can lure Kovacic to Anfield with the promise of regular first-team football, even though they will not be able to offer him Champions League football next season.

It is believed that a bid of around £15 million will be enough to secure the 21-year-old's signature in the summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly facing competition from Arsenal for the signature of Manchester City midfielder James Milner, who will be available on a free transfer in the summer, with his current contract at the Etihad set to expire at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who completed a move from Aston Villa to City for a reported £28.5 million plus Stephen Ireland, has found a lot of success at the Etihad, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup.

However, he is reportedly unhappy with the fact that he has been used as a squad player and played out of position by manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Pellegrini has time and again stated that he is confident that Milner will sign a new deal to say at Manchester City, but it does not look like it is going to happen with the season about to end.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Milner, with there being reports of the deal already being done, after the Reds reportedly promised the England international he will be a key player for them and will also be played in his preferred central midfield position next season.

However, the Metro claims the Gunners are now leading the race to sign Milner due to the midfielder wanting Champions League football next season.

According to the same report, Sky Sports co-commentator Alan Smith revealed that Milner may be heading to the Emirates, while covering Arsenal's English Premier League clash with Swansea City on Sunday.

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