Chelsea have opened talks with Real Madrid about converting Mateo Kovacic’s loan move into a permanent deal.
The Croat international joined the Stamford Bridge outlet on a season long loan in August and has made an immediate impact in West London becoming one of the mainstays of the midfield, alongside Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté.
Now, according to The Evening Standard, they have seen enough to want to make the arrangement permanent, but are unlikely to get their man cheaply. Real paid Inter Milan nearly £27 million for Kovacic in 2015, and will be looking to recoup a substantial part of the transfer fee for the 24-year old.
Capped 48 times by Croatia, Kovacic grew frustrated by his lack of first-team opportunities in Spain, and forced through the move to Chelsea in order to play regular football. And, if comments he made in September are anything to go by, he would prefer to stay in the Premier League.
“I’m really happy at Chelsea,” he said. “The city is amazing, the fans are great, the stadium, everything is nice, so I could imagine myself here. After two years of struggling in Madrid, playing and then not playing, it was difficult. You don’t have the confidence, you don’t try the things you know.
“This was my decision to go. Chelsea came, I spoke with the coach and the club. It was definitely just Chelsea for me. I wanted to come here and I am happy that it happened.”
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.