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Chelsea would have to pay a minimum of £50 million in order to sign on loan star Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid on a permanent basis.
Writing for the London Evening Standard, Simon Johnson explains that it is looking more and more likely that the Croatian will not be at Stamford Bridge next season.
The 24-year-old has been named in the starting XI on six occasions in the Premier League yet only has a solitary assist, albeit a sublime one against Liverpool, and no goals to his name.
Kovacic, who moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer, has impressed under Maurizio Sarri but struggled to get regular game time under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
But under Sarri, Kovacic has already made 12 appearances this season.
The player is still highly thought of at Real Madrid and boasts a humongous £262 million release clause in his contract at the Bernabeu.
The reports that the Italian gaffer will not be keeping the Croatian international on a permanent basis.
This is because the manager wants to give more playing time to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley.
Kovacic’s presence has limited the two England stars’ playing time at Chelsea and the duo are quickly proving their worth.