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07th Aug 2018

Mateo Kovačić set for Premier League loan, but he is not heading to Tottenham

He ticks every box for what Spurs need from a new midfielder, but their rivals are set to steal him from under their nose

Reuben Pinder

He had also been linked with a move to Tottenham

Mateo Kovačić is set to join Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid on a one year deal, according to reports in Spain.

The Croatian midfielder had been linked with a move to Tottenham, who are enduring a bit of an injury crisis in midfield at the moment, but unsurprisingly Spurs have not made a viable offer for the player, despite the fact that he would be the perfect fit.

Kovačić will be Chelsea’s second midfield addition this summer, after Jorginho followed Maurizio Sarri to Stamford Bridge from Napoli.

The Croatian has struggled to break into the Real Madrid side since he joined from Inter Milan, but has impressed on the few occasions that he has played.

With a complete skillset and the ability to play in a variety of different midfield roles, he is an excellent fit for the style of football that Sarri wants to instil into the Chelsea team.

Chelsea started the Community Shield with Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley in central midfield ahead of Jorginho but for the season ahead N’Golo Kante and Kovačić will almost certainly fill those two slots.

This move could push Ruben Loftus-Cheek towards the exit door, as the 21-year-old falls further down the pecking order. The Chelsea academy graduate spent last season out on loan at Crystal Palace and was largely impressive despite only scoring two goals. As he looks to kick on in his career and play regular first team football, he may now have to look elsewhere if Kovačić does arrive.

Chelsea also look set to lose goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after he went AWOL yesterday and failed to report to training again today. The Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday but the rest of Europe have until late August to wrap up their business. Chelsea are reportedly lining up an offer for Stoke’s Jack Butland as a replacement.