Kovacic free to join Chelsea in the summer
Chelsea have been told they are free to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic on a permanent basis in the summer.
The midfielder arrived at Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan deal in the summer after struggling to earn enough regular first-team football with Los Blancos.
The Croatian has got more game time with the Blues, but has hardly ripped up trees, and it remains to be seen if a permanent deal will be pursued once the loan deal is up.
Even if Chelsea decide not to push for a deal, Kovacic will be available to other clubs after reports claimed he does not figure in the plans of returning Real boss Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane is planning big changes at the Bernabeu in the summer and with a number of new midfielders on his wanted list, including Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, Kovacic is surplus to requirements.
Chelsea will also undertake a rebuilding job in the summer, if they escape a transfer ban, but it is unclear at this stage whether Kovacic will be a part of it.