United boss Jose Mourinho's pursuit of the midfielder was confirmed by AS this week and it's now emerging Perez is encouraging his former Real coach to open negotiations.
Don Balon says Perez wants to use Mourinho's interest as a way to reopen talks about a deal for United goalkeeper David de Gea. News has reached Perez, via De Gea's agent Jorge Mendes, that United will sell the Spaniard this summer - but for no less than €100m.
The president now hopes to use Mourinho's interest in Kovacic to drive down De Gea's valuation as part of a cash-plus-player swap deal.
Perez will have no problem selling Kovacic this summer, having been blocked by coach Zinedine Zidane from cashing in last year.