Mateo Kovacic’s impending transfer to Chelsea could be finalised soon, with new manager Julen Lopetegui unhappy with the Croatian’s demands and urging his club to sort out his departure, AS reports.
Chelsea and Real Madrid are nearing an agreement for the season-long loan of the young midfielder. Kovacic joined Madrid from Inter Milan in August of 2015 for an initial fee of £22.5m according to the Guardian.
24-year-old Kovacic has not developed into the player Madrid would have hoped, rather than providing competition to fellow Croatian Luka Modric, Kovacic has only featured for Madrid on a rotation basis.
Last season, Kovacic made 21 La Liga appearances as Los Blancos finished in third place.
However the former Inter Milan midfielder featured five times for Croatia during this summer’s World Cup, on their journey to the final in Russia.
Despite some tension around the player at Real Madrid, Chelsea could acquire a player who is high on confidence following his nation’s surprise success in the World Cup.
Kovacic could prove to be a fine signing for the Blues and his addition will hopefully prove a step up from recent flop signings like Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley in that area of the pitch.
Kovacic is seen as one part of a transfer merry-go-round which will see Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois sign for Madrid on a permanent basis with Kovacic heading out on loan in the opposite direction.
AS also report that Courtois’ Stamford Bridge replacement will be Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in a deal that will break the world record fee received for a goalkeeper which was only set by Liverpool when they signed Alisson Becker from Roma earlier on in the transfer window, as reported at the time by BBC Sport.