Manchester United have reportedly joined Liverpool and Manchester City in ‘exploring the potential signing of Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic’.
All three of the Blues’ rivals are circling the Croatia international as they look to upgrade their midfield options in the summer, according to 90min.
Kovacic’s current Chelsea contract runs out in the summer of 2024 and with Todd Boehly and Clearlake’s new policy of not allowing players to enter the last year of their deals, the 28-year-old will be on his way if the club can’t agree an extension.
Chelsea’s new ownership have been signing players to long-term deals and offering current stars similarly lengthy contracts, with Reece James signing for six years and Mason Mount’s future up in the air due to the length of contract he’s been offered.
The report claims Chelsea’s rivals have been buoyed by the club’s new policy, believing they can sign players at reasonable prices, with Jorginho’s sale to Arsenal proof of the Blues’ willingness to sell players to fellow Big Six clubs.
It’s not clear from this report whether Kovacic would prefer to stay at Chelsea or move elsewhere in the Premier League, but it was claimed by Pianeta Milan last week that the midfielder has ‘offered himself’ to AC Milan, because ‘wants to leave the Blues at the end of the season’.
Kovacic spent three seasons at Milan’s rivals Inter earlier in his career, and would ‘welcome a return to Milan’, who ‘listened and registered’ his desire to play for them.
A piece in The Daily Telegraph last month claimed Pep Guardiola is closely monitoring Kovacic’s situation.
The report read: ‘The situation is understood to have alerted City, whose manager Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of Kovacic and is expected to make changes to his midfield in the summer.’
And it’s claimed Liverpool are also keeping tabs, with Jurgen Klopp joining both Guardiola and Erik ten Hag in seeing Kovacic as ‘a consummate professional’.