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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek ruptured his Achilles tendon in the friendly win over New England Revolution and has now successfully undergone surgery on Thursday night.
Loftus-Cheek will be sidelined for the start of the new season, with reports claiming that he could be out for at least six months, and this could be detrimental to Chelsea’s season if the transfer ban isn’t lifted.
The Blues are currently unable to participate in this summer’s transfer window, and Chelsea are currently appealing the two-window suspension placed on the club by world’s football governing body FIFA.
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea will only be permitted to sign players currently on loan – namely Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain – on a permanent basis.
Due to Loftus-Cheek’s injury, Chelsea are now planning to sign Kovacic permanently ahead of the season, as Maurizio Sarri’s side will be short in midfield due to the absence of Loftus-Cheek.
Kovacic made 32 Premier League appearances on loan from Real Madrid this past season, and was one of Sarri’s favourites in midfield, featuring more than Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Kovacic is yet to score his first goal for Chelsea, but Sarri has been impressed with the 24-year-old and has admitted he wants the club to sign him on a permanent deal.
When asked last month whether he wanted to enter the market for another midfielder this summer, as Chelsea attempt to overturn a two-window transfer ban, Sarri said: “No, I want to try with Kovacic.
“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. Of course, he is not a defensive midfielder (at the moment) but, as you know, in that position I prefer a very technical player.”
However, Chelsea might face a little difficulty in signing Kovacic as the Blues neglected to include a buy-out clause in Kovacic’s contract when he made the move to Stamford Bridge last summer.
Chelsea would therefore need to negotiate a fee with Real Madrid before his loan finishes at the end of June if they must sign Kovacic, with the Spanish side setting a price tag of around £40million.