What’s the latest on Mateo Kovacic’s Chelsea future?
According to The Guardian, Chelsea could be set to lose the 29-year-old for a cut price fee this summer. Kovacic has a single year remaining on his contract which places pressure on Chelsea to sell this summer to avoid missing out on recouping a fee before he takes his leave from Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are forced to trim their squad as they prepare for next season without European football. Not only are Chelsea without those extra matches next term they are also already under scrutiny following their extreme expenditure since Todd Boehly took over as the club’s new owner, and it seems he is not prepared to keep players heading into the final year on their contracts.
While doubt continues to surround the future of Mason Mount, Chelsea have also resigned themselves to losing a top player in Kovacic. The experienced midfielder is one of most technically gifted stars in the Premier League, ranking in the 92nd percentile for progressive passes.
The Guardian notes that there is currently no indication Kovacic will pen a contract extension to put an end to speculation surrounding a summer exit from the Bridge.
Where could Kovacic go after leaving Chelsea?
If Kovacic does indeed leave Chelsea this summer, he will have a few major opportunities befitting his ability. A reunion with Thomas Tuchel is on the cards, as per The Guardian, with a switch to Bayern Munich touted.
Perhaps the most intriguing is Manchester City’s interest. Pep Guardiola could work magic with Kovacic in his engine room. If Ilkay Gundogan leaves on a free transfer, City could sign the Chelsea star to replace him although it would not be a like-for-like swap.
United are also interested but with the Old Trafford recruitment team focusing on adding more physicality in midfield, Kovacic might not quite fit the bill for Erik ten Hag’s side.
One thing is blatantly clear: whichever team signs Kovacic is signing a truly top operator. Last year, Declan Rice paid the midfielder a huge compliment, hailing his ability to retain the ball under pressure.
The West Ham star said: “He’s incredible. I think you don’t really realise how good he is until you play against him and obviously when you watch him, you appreciate the footballer that he is.
“He can take the ball in tight areas. His dribbling ability is unbelievable, can find a pass, can control games and is fairly quick as well. He’s always been a tough opponent to play against so definitely Kovacic.
“Every time I’ve played against him, even in the Euros, he’s done some stuff on the ball where I’ve thought wow he’s a top player.”