Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future.

The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain.

Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement.

“I think it [a loan switch] was the most important thing I did for now in my career,” Kovacic told Sky Sports.

“It was a step I wanted a lot, I wanted to come here. I say thank you to my previous club, to Chelsea as well, who wanted me a lot. I am enjoying it and I like it a lot here.

“For now, I am happy here. The city is amazing, the club is one of the best in the world, and my team-mates are great.

“I need to respect my previous club, Real Madrid. I can imagine myself staying here, but I have a contract I need to respect, and that is what I will do.

“For now, my business is to give my best every day.”

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