Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic ‘will respect’ Real Madrid contract

Midfielder Mateo Kovacic will ‘respect’ his contract at Real Madrid but ‘can imagine’ he will remain at Chelsea beyond the current season.

Chelsea are said to be keen to make the 24-year-old’s season-long loan switch permanent and the player is open to this idea, having made a fast start to life in London.

Kovacic has already been involved in 23 games for the FA Cup holders to date this season, while Tottenham are also said to be monitoring his situation.

“I need to respect my previous club, Real Madrid,” Kovacic said, as cited by ESPN.

“I can imagine myself staying here, but I have a contract I need to respect, and that is what I will do.”

Madrid signed the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder from Italian giants Inter in the summer of 2015 for €30m and are said to want significantly more than that sum in the event of a permanent departure.

The Croat started only 37 La Liga games across three seasons in the Spanish capital with only 10 of those coming last season.

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