Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2018

Real Madrid transfer news: Julen Lopetegui wants replacement for Chelsea ace Mateo Kovacic | Football | Sport


Chelsea signed Kovacic from Real Madrid on loan with the clock ticking down, ending the player’s three-year stint at the Bernabeu.

The Croatia international moves to west London aiming to re-establish himself as one of the best young midfielders in world football, having struggled for game time in La Liga.

Chelsea have Kovacic for the forthcoming season, although it is unclear what will happen in 12 months time.

And Real Madrid manager Lopetegui has hinted Kovacic may be tempted to stay in England, by admitting the club could have to sign a replacement.

“He [Kovacic] has expressed his desire to leave and we will see how everything ends,” the Real Madrid boss said ahead of the loan deal.

“Although he is an important player, if he goes, we will look for solutions.

“The solutions we seek going forward will be for a player at Kovacic’s level – who is a high-level footballer.

“We need a balanced squad.”

Kovacic has often been stuck behind Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro in the pecking order.

However, he may be joined out of the exit door by Modric.

The Croatia international is supposedly tempted to swap the Bernabeu for a new challenge in Serie A with Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, the new Chelsea signing has opened up on his decision to move to Stamford Bridge.

Kovacic said: “I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea.

“It is an amazing feeling. I will try to do my best for this club.

“It is a new league for me, the beginning is always tough but I am sure the coach and my new team-mates will help me and I am looking forward to a great season.”

Blues director Marina Granovskaia added: “We are very happy to welcome Mateo to the Chelsea family.

“He is a perfect fit for us this season, his style is well suited to how Maurizio wants to play.

“We are sure he will prove to be a valuable asset for the club.”



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Real Madrid transfer news: Julen Lopetegui wants replacement for Chelsea ace Mateo Kovacic | Football | Sport