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Mateo Kovacic has become a key part of the team under Maurizio Sarri since signing on loan from Real Madrid in the summer.

The Croatian international has revealed he sees himself staying at Chelsea beyond this season.

Kovacic is yet to score for Chelsea despite making 20 appearances in all competitions.

Asked about his loan spell at Chelsea, Kovacic told Sky Sports: “I think it [leaving Real Madrid] 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. 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.”

According to reports from Spain early this month, Real Madrid are open to selling the midfielder to Chelsea as they are unimpressed by his behavior when he returned from the World Cup as he attempted to engineer a move away from the Bernabeu.

Kovacic also revealed in September that he is prepared to stay at Chelsea beyond this season.

“I’m really happy at Chelsea,” Kovacic 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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