Exclusive: Man Utd and Liverpool exploring £40m deal with ruthless Boehly to send Chelsea star packing

Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea

TEAMtalk has learned a hardline stance adopted by Todd Boehly could force a Chelsea midfielder out this summer, and Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City are all circling over a player previously signed for £40m.

Chelsea’s lavish spending over the previous two transfer windows will have consequences in the near future. Over £500m has been splashed out, with Graham Potter’s squad bursting at the seams.

The confirmed summer arrival of Christopher Nkunku will add another body to the mix. A permanent move for Atletico Madrid loanee, Joao Felix, is also under consideration.

As such, numerous exits will be required to not only trim the squad down to size, but also balance the books.

To ensure Chelsea aren’t caught short financially, we’ve been told Chelsea chief Todd Boehly will not let players enter the last year of their contracts.

Doing so would throw up the risk of Chelsea losing saleable assets for nothing to free agency. As such, anyone whose contract is up at the end of next season must either pen fresh terms in the coming months or run the risk of being sold at season’s end.

Two players who fit that billing are Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount. The latter is understood to be on Liverpool’s radar, though per transfer insider Graeme Bailey, so too is Kovacic.

The 28-year-old has been a reliable performer in the engine room since arriving at Stamford Bridge initially on loan in 2018.

Chelsea activated the £40.5m option to buy from Real Madrid a year later, though the Croatian’s time in the capital could come to a close at the five-year mark.

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Crunch time for Kovacic as vultures circle

Aside from Liverpool – who are expected to embark on a midfield overhaul this summer – Kovacic is also being courted by Man Utd and Man City.

And per Bailey, if Kovacic doesn’t sign an extension in short order, Boehly will give his three potential suitors a chance to act on their interest.

“Chelsea have a real decision to make with Mateo Kovacic this summer,” said Bailey.

“Chelsea have set their stall out with their players, with the basic premise being if they don’t want to be at the club then they can leave.

“It is not dissimilar to the situation with Mason Mount. They want him to stay, but with just over 12 months left on his deal, they have little intention of letting him leave for nothing in 2024.

“Whilst engaging in talks, I am told that Kovacic’s people are looking at the market and it is an impressive one. Man City, Liverpool and Man Utd could all have room for him.

“He is hugely appreciated in the Premier League and if he does leave, the chances are he stays in England.”

Chelsea’s bargaining position will be weakened this summer given Kovacic will only have a year left on his deal if he doesn’t put pen to paper.

However, he’s more than justified his £40m price tag since moving to west London and if a bidding war ensues, Chelsea may well recoup 100 percent of what they paid.

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