Mateo Kovacic wants to stay with Chelsea beyond the end of his current loan arrangement – but is also open to a move to another Premier League side, according to reports in Spain.
The Real Madrid midfielder joined the Blues in a season’s loan back in the summer as part of the deal that took Thibaut Courtois to Stamford Bridge.
The player has enjoyed mix fortunes during his maiden campaign in England, but his hopes of a permanent switch to Stamford Bridge appear bleak with Chelsea facing a ban from signing players during the next two transfer windows.
Chelsea are likely to appeal the decision, but failure to get the ban reduced or overturned would place the Croatian’s future under the spotlight, with a route back into his parent team Real looking increasingly unlikely.
According to Marca, Kovacic has made staying at Stamford Bridge his No 1 priority this summer, but if factors prevent him from doing so, the Madrid-based paper claims he will make himself open for a switch to Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.
The player was linked with a move to Tottenham last summer and it’s suggested Mauricio Pochettino’s side – themselves set to come out of a ‘self-imposed’ transfer wait this summer – could come back in for the 24-year-old.
Furthermore, Marca claims his situation has also brought him to the attention of a number of other clubs with West Ham, Newcastle and Everton also considering a move for Kovacic.
The Croatian, who was asked about his future last year, said: “[Playing regularly] is good, I’m a little bit tired. I was not used to playing every three or four games and here it is very tough football.
“You can’t relax against anybody so it’s a little bit difficult but I really enjoy it. We have a great team, great fans and the city is nice. I like it a lot here.”
On his time in London so far, Kovacic added: “I go around and I enjoy the city – it’s huge and I haven’t seen enough of it yet. I’m looking forward to getting to know it more. I’m enjoying it. What’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen so far? The stadium.
“I don’t do anything special. I spend a lot of time in Cobham because I need to prepare myself for training and every game but after that I go home and enjoy time with my wife.
“Nothing special, we go for dinner, we live in the city so we are walking a lot. My family enjoys the city and that’s the most important thing for me in the end.”
Kovacic has made 40 appearances in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s side this season.
Get the latest personalised Blues products on our new TEAMtalk Chelsea shop!