CHELSEA will not sign Mateo Kovacic on a permanent deal, it’s claimed.
The Croatia international has impressed under Maurizio Sarri this season.
Kovacic, 24, joined the Blues on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid in the summer.
The midfielder struggled to get regular game time at the Bernabeu.
Under Sarri, Kovacic has already made 12 appearances this season.
However, according to the Daily Star, Chelsea have no plans to keep Kovacic past this season.
They say the Blues don’t have a permanent clause agreed with Real Madrid.
Kovacic has revealed he’s happy at Chelsea, however, the midfielder refused to commit his long-term future to the Blues.
And pundit Martin Keown recently claimed Sarri would not have signed Kovacic had he known how good Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are.
“I honestly believe that had Maurizio Sarri known just how good Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were, Chelsea would not have taken Mateo Kovacic on loan,” Keown said.
“It’s nice problem for Sarri to have. You cannot drop N’Golo Kante so there are three players fighting for one midfield berth.
“If Chelsea had to make a choice between Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek, I would rather send Kovacic back to Real Madrid than send Loftus-Creek out on loan.
“Barkley is one of the best players [England] have produced in terms of technical ability.
“I will never forget the first time I saw him play. He was on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and I spent the whole match trying to work out if he was right or left-footed.
“He took one corner with his right, then later in the game took one from the other side of the pitch with his left.
“But talent can only get you so far. Now, the penny has dropped for him. He knows how to get the best from that talent. He knows where he needs to be on the pitch to maximise his ability.
“Maurizio Sarri is getting the best from him by playing him in an advanced midfield role. It suits all of his qualities and gets him into the final third often so he can work his magic.”