As per a report from Spanish outlet AS, Chelsea have until the end of the month to decide whether or not they plan to make Mateo Kovacic’s signing permanent.
Kovacic’s Real struggles
25-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 Spanish giants 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 over the course of the ensuing campaign.
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 in 2017/18.
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.
And Kovacic has since gone on to endure a somewhat hit-and-miss stint at Stamford Bridge.
Solid, enterprising displays on the part of the 25-year-old this past season were too often followed by lifeless, ineffective performances, with Chelsea’s fans having made clear their frustrations with the lack of attacking impetus showcased by Kovacic throughout the campaign.
As such, it has since remained a mystery whether the midfielder is part of the long-term plans of the Blues.
Initial reports suggested that Chelsea’s deal for Kovacic did not contain an option to buy.
However, recent updates have insisted otherwise, with the latest news emerging from Spain last night having shed further light on the situation.
As per the aforementioned report from AS, Chelsea can still buy Kovacic, despite the club’s transfer ban.
A purchase, though, would have to be completed by the 30th of June, when the 52-time capped international’s loan deal is set to expire.
Crucially, AS also add that Chelsea remain undecided on whether or not to sign Kovacic outright.
Real Madrid are said to be demanding a hefty 50 million Euro for the Croat.
Serie A giants Inter Milan, meanwhile, are keeping a close eye on the situation.
— AS English (@English_AS) June 24, 2019