Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is in talks over a potential move to Zenit St Petersburg this summer, according to Daily Mail.
The Croatian international is on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid for the season. There is no option to buy in his contract and his representatives are working on his next move after holding talks this week.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri Maurizio Sarri said last month that he wished to make Kovacic’s loan permanent but the Blues will only be able to acquire Kovacic permanently if the appeal to FIFA against a two-window transfer ban, which was heard last Thursday, results in the punishment being overturned or delayed.
“I want to try with Kovacic,” said Sarri. “He is only on loan, of course, but I’d like very much that Kovacic will stay with us.
“You know very well that, in that position, we have some problems because we have only Jorginho. In my opinion, Kovacic could become a very good central midfielder.”
According to Daily Mail, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is happy to let Kovacic leave the Spanish club permanently.
Kovacic has made 43 appearances for Chelsea but has failed to convince many Chelsea fans.
Meanwhile, Chelsea legend Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink has told Chelsea not to sign the 24-year-old at the end of the season but rather let him return to his parent club.
“I don’t think Chelsea should pursue Kovacic,” Hasselbaink told Bwin.
“I think he was signed as a way to get better value from the deal that saw Courtois go to Real Madrid, but he hasn’t been used correctly at Chelsea.
“Kovacic is a defensive midfielder and that is where he performed best at Real Madrid, but Chelsea are already blessed with Jorginho and Kante in that role.
“Chelsea need a midfielder who has creativity and can split defences with a final pass, who can set up strikers and achieve assists, but this is not Kovacic’s strengths.”