Chelsea’s on-loan midfielder Mateo Kovacic is said to have already committed to a move to Inter this summer, with parent club Real Madrid eager to sell.
The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea have no option to sign him permanently. They have been tipped to pursue negotiations with Real, although their imminent transfer ban has threatened to block this move.
As such, with Chelsea hesitating to pursue the deal, La Repubblica (via Calciomercato) state that Inter have already approached Real to try negotiate a transfer.
New boss Antonio Conte is thought to want a loan deal for Kovacic, with a view to a permanent transfer. No deal has been agreed as of yet, although both sides are keen to see the move go through.
Chelsea have previously been tipped to push through a deal for Kovacic, either as part of Eden Hazard’s move to the Santiago Bernabeu or separately. However, with Hazard’s move to Madrid now complete, Chelsea would have to pursue a regular transfer.
It is thought that, should Chelsea act quickly, their transfer ban would not restrict a move for Kovacic, as it simply prevents the club from registering new players. Given Kovacic is already registered as a Chelsea player as a result of his loan, the Blues may be able to complete the deal before his loan officially expires this summer.
Manager Maurizio Sarri has spoken of his desire for Chelsea to sign Kovacic, but even his future is up in the air at the minute. The manager is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge for Juventus, and it remains to be seen whether the Blues would remain keen on Kovacic without Sarri.
Last season, the Croatian made 51 appearances in all competitions, but his performances often left fans frustrated. He failed to score during his time with the Blues and often preferred to sit deep in midfield, rather than push forward into the penalty area.
With Chelsea facing criticism for often lacking any real cutting edge, many supporters believe that Kovacic should not be re-signed, and any incoming manager should prioritise building a team around the likes of academy graduates Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Mason Mount.