As per the latest odds from betting syndicate Ladbrokes, Arsenal are the new favourites to secure the summer signing of on-loan Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Kovacic’s Real struggles
24-year-old Croatian international Kovacic made the surprise move to Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan last summer, following another frustrating campaign largely confined to the bench of European champions Real Madrid.
Having managed a solid 19 La Liga starts during the 2016/17 season, Kovacic was expected to push for a starting berth in the midfield of Los Blancos last time out.
However, the presence of the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro proved too much to contend with for the former Inter Milan man, who was, all told, handed a paltry 10 league starts by Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu last season.
Chelsea clinch deal
As such, inevitable speculation surrounding the Croat’s future was forthcoming during the summer transfer window.
In the end, though, it was Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea who clinched a season-long loan deal for the Blancos’ midfielder on the 9th of August.
Kovacic has since gone on to endure a somewhat hit-and-miss stint at Stamford Bridge, with it, as of now, unclear whether the Londoners intend to make his stay at the club permanent.
As things stand, though, such a scenario appears unlikely. Kovacic’s Chelsea deal does not contain an option to buy. In addition, the Blues’ looming FIFA transfer ban could well rule them out of the running for the midfielder’s signature.
Nevertheless, a report from Spanish outlet Marca yesterday afternoon revealed that Kovacic has his sights set firmly set on a Premier League stay beyond the summer, even if it means finding another club to ply his trade for.
And, as per the aforementioned updated bookies’ odds on the Croatian’s future, a new front-runner has emerged for Kovacic’s signature.
The club in question are Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal, with Aaron Ramsey’s imminent Emirates departure for Juventus expected to see Unai Emery and co. target midfield additions come the summer.
Arsenal are followed closely by fellow North Londoners Tottenham in the Kovacic sweepstakes, ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively:
Arsenal – 2/1
Tottenham – 5/2
Man United – 7/2
Man City – 4/1
Liverpool – 6/1