Chelsea will ‘have to be making a decision’ on the future of midfielder Mateo Kovacic imminently, journalist Simon Phillips has told GiveMeSport.
The 28-year-old has entered the final 18 months of his current £150,000-per-week contract at Stamford Bridge, and the Blues may have to offload him in the summer if he refuses to put pen to paper on fresh terms.
Chelsea news – Mateo Kovacic
According to The Telegraph, Kovacic’s situation at Chelsea has attracted the attention of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
It’s believed that Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the Croatia international and could look to sign him as he plans a reshuffle of his engine room options in the blue half of Manchester.
However, a report from the Evening Standard back in October claimed that Chelsea were eager to resume talks with Kovacic over a new deal following the conclusion of the World Cup.
Yet it’s unclear at this moment in time whether the west London outfit have made any progress with Kovacic in their negotiations.
And with Enzo Fernandez arriving from Benfica for a British-record fee in January, Chelsea’s hierarchy may feel it’s the right time to go in a different direction.
What has Phillips said about Kovacic?
When asked about Kovacic’s future, Phillips disclosed that Chelsea will ‘definitely choose to sell’ the former Real Madrid ace if he refuses to commit his future to the club.
In an interview with GMS, he said: “His contract is obviously up in 2024, and Chelsea will have to be making a decision on that very soon.
“If there’s any thought at all that he won’t extend or they cannot agree terms with him for an extension, then they will definitely choose to sell him in the summer instead.”
Who could replace Kovacic?
Kovacic arrived from Madrid in a £40 million deal in 2019 following a successful season-long loan spell, but his time in west London could be reaching its conclusion.
The Telegraph have also stated that Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is on Todd Boehly’s wish list, although he will have to fend off a host of top European clubs for his signature.
Meanwhile, The Guardian state that Chelsea now face stiff competition from Arsenal for long-term target Declan Rice.
Several other midfielders have also been linked to Chelsea in recent weeks given their outlandish spending spree under Boehly, and they could recruit multiple targets if Kovacic departs.