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Real Madrid head coach confirms ‘extremely high level’ Kovačić wants to leave

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Lopetegui addressed the 23-year-old’s future in a press conference

Leganes v Real Madrid - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegei has admitted the Mateo Kovačić wants to leave, which is definite change of tone from just 24 hours prior, when he was still maintaining that everything was hunky-dory with the 24-year-old.

Still, Lopetegui stopped short of confirming the impending loan to Chelsea, though I suppose that’s just being careful in the sometimes extremely silly world of football transfers. You never know for sure until official confirmations, and sometimes even that isn’t enough.

“There’s nothing 100 per cent certain yet. Mateo has said he wants to leave. I want him to stay – he’s an important player. We’ll see how everything ends up. If he happens to leave, we’ll look for solutions.”

“The solutions [for his replacement] are something we’d speak about privately within the club. If Mateo does leave, a player of his level, which is extremely high, we’ll have to look for someone at that type of level.

”To reach all of our objectives we need to have a balanced team and he [plays] a very important position and he’s a very important player.”

-Julen Lopetegui; source: Goal

Might they be interested in Premier League-champion Danny Drinkwater or perhaps future amazing player Tiémoué Bakayoko? One of the two are likely to be surplus to requirements if Kovačić, as expected, shows up at Cobham in the next 24-36 hours.