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Mateo Kovacic is on a season-long loan deal at Chelsea from Real Madrid and according to Spanish newspaper AS, Chelsea have opened talks with Real Madrid to make Kovacic’s loan deal permanent.

The report claims Real Madrid are open to selling the 24-year-old Croatian midfielder as they were unimpressed by Kovacic’s behaviour when he returned from the World Cup as he attempted to engineer a move away from the Bernabeu.

Chelsea could face competition from Premier League rivals Tottenham, who are thought to be interested in the midfielder.

Kovacic has impressed since arriving at Chelsea, playing 18 times so far this season for Chelsea. He played consistently alongside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in a three-man midfield.

Real Madrid will reportedly seek to make a profit on the £27 million they paid Inter Milan to sign Kovacic in 2015.

In September, Kovacic indicated that he would be prepared to stay at Chelsea long-term. “I’m really happy at Chelsea,” he said. “The city is amazing, the fans are great, the stadium, everything is nice, so I could imagine myself here.

“After two years of struggling in Madrid, playing and then not playing, it was difficult. You don’t have the confidence, you don’t try the things you know.

“This was my decision to go. Chelsea came, I spoke with the coach and the club. It was definitely just Chelsea for me. I wanted to come here and I am happy that it happened.”

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