Mateo Kovacic’s chances of returning to Real Madrid are increasingly slim, with Chelsea holding a ‘clear advantage’ in completing a permanent transfer for the on-loan midfielder amidst rival interest from Tottenham.
The Croatia international made it clear during the summer that he wanted to leave the Santiago Bernabeu and was granted a season-long deal to join Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.
While the Blues do not have an option to make the move permanent as part of the deal, Spanish publication AS have reported that the 24-year-old will not be heading back to Real Madrid next year.
It has been revealed that the 13-time European champions are ‘disgusted’ over the attitude displayed by Kovacic during the summer saga and are willing to sanction a transfer away for the midfielder.
The report adds that Sarri’s side have a ‘clear advantage’ in the race to sign the Croatian, with Kovacic himself acknowledging he ‘likes the idea’ of joining his current side on a permanent basis.
Premier League rivals Spurs are also said to be keeping tabs over the former Inter midfielder, but Chelsea’s recent relationship with Madrid is claimed to have put them in pole position.
In the last two seasons, the Blues have signed Alvaro Morata from the La Liga giants whilst Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois headed in the opposite direction earlier this summer.
Santiago Solari’s side paid in the region of €35m to prise Kovacic away from the San Siro in 2015, and it has been suggested Los Blancos are looking for a higher fee than what they originally parted with to let the midfielder leave.