It’s a summer of change at Stamford Bridge, and Mateo Kovačić remains very much in limbo about where he will be playing next season as well.
And as today’s report form Goal reminds, Chelsea have only one week to extend his tenure at Stamford Bridge with another loan deal or a straight up purchase before his current loan contract expires on June 30. The transfer ban (i.e. registration ban) will prevent Chelsea from re-adding him to the squad afterwards.
Chelsea have one week to go to sign Mateo Kovacic, despite having a transfer ban. He is in limbo over whether the new regime wants him still: https://t.co/O625h7ciBJ #CFC #RMCF (Story with @pineroalberto)— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 24, 2019
Kovačić came to Chelsea from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal last summer, and he went on to play 51 times under manager Maurizio Sarri, rotating through all three midfield positions, including as the backup to Jorginho in the deep-lying regista role,
But things are changing drastically at Chelsea. We sold generational talent Eden Hazard and let Sarri join Juventus. We’ve brought back Petr Cech as a technical advisor and are working on bringing back Frank Lampard as the new head coach, to help guide the team through these youth-centric, self-sustaining, transfer-banned times.
Whether Kovačić has a role to play in that narrative is not at all obvious. Recent reports made it clear that Chelsea weren’t exactly bending over backwards to get him signed, and interest from Italy (Inter Milan, mostly) has been steady. Kovačić may not have a future at Real Madrid — Zidane doesn’t want him back and they need to offset their Galáctico-sized spending his summer, too — but he should have plenty of options other than just Chelsea, even if he liked playing here.
So unless something unexpected happens this week, and quickly, it does not look like Kovačić will be here next season.