Mateo Kovačić is enjoying his Chelsea adventure quite immensely, it would appear, and is hoping that he will be allowed to join permanently.
“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.”
Of course, Real aren’t actually a “previous” club just yet. They are very much his current club and he will have two more years left on his contract with them at the end of his Chelsea loan. The apparent lack of a built-in buy-option (contrary to a few intitial rumors) would seem to indicate that Real will need some convincing to let the 24-year-old go, for whom they once had great plans as Ballon d’Or-winner Luka Modrić’s successor.
That said, Mateo sounds very much keen on staying at Chelsea in London — calling it no less than the “most important” thing he’s done for his career — with all due respect to Real of course.
“I think it was the most important thing I did for now in my career. 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.”
One obvious angle for any future negotiations to take is to involve Eden Hazard in some capacity. But Kovačić doesn’t think Eden is pushing for a move, and is instead fully concentrating on Chelsea.
“He asked me how it was there (at Real) but we are looking forward to having a great season together, to be fully concentrated on Chelsea. He is focused a lot on doing great things with Chelsea.”
-Mateo Kovačić; source: Sky
Whatever may happen in the summer then, for now, we can only hope Eden, Mateo, and the rest of Chelsea do indeed accomplish a few great things this season.