Sarri gives verdict on Mateo Kovacic’s future

    Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted he would like to see Mateo Kovacic extending his collaboration with the club after his loan expires

    The Croatian midfielder arrived from Real Madrid in the summer on loan without an option to make the deal permanent and is expected to return to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

    Immediately established as a regular first-team member under the Italian tactician, the 24-year-old has registered 42 top-flight appearances for the Blues, contributing two assists along the way.

    Although Los Blancos projected Kovacic as a natural heir of aging Luka Modric, the London outfit seem to have their own agenda.

    Speaking of Kovacic’s importance to the team, Sarri has admitted he would be glad to see former Inter Milan man prolonging his stay in the Premier League.

    “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.

    “In the last match, Jorginho touched 161 balls. So, for us, it’s very important for us to have a big quality in that position. Big quality not for the last pass, but big quality in terms of moving the ball.”

    The fact that the reigning Champions League holders fight tooth and nail to secure the services of Eden Hazard could help Sarri’s cause.

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