Exclusive: Chelsea set to land Real Madrid star as Thibaut Courtois prepares to go the other way

Mateo Kovacic could well be on the move, with Yahoo sources claiming a deal to Chelsea is all-but done
Mateo Kovacic could well be on the move, with Yahoo sources claiming a deal to Chelsea is all-but done

Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is set to join Chelsea in a a loan deal, sources have told Yahoo Sport.

With Real Madrid still waiting for the green light to sign Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois, the two clubs appear to be close to confirming a deal that will see Croatia star Kovacic seal a move that should give him the first team football he craves.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has been keen to strengthen his midfield options a he looks to get to grips with a confused transfer picture at the club, a little under a month after he was confirmed as Antonio Conte’s successor.

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Now it looks like Kovacic will be the next addition to his squad, with the final details of the loan agreement – which may include an option for Chelsea to buy the player permanently – being thrashed out.

Italy international Jorginho is the only big name signing at Chelsea since Sarri’s arrival as manager after his £57m move from Napoli, with the doubts over the future of a host of star names lingering ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Eden Hazard has hinted he is keen to leave Chelsea this summer as he eyes up a move to Real Madrid, but Blues officials have told Yahoo Sport that they will not entertain any offers for their number 10.

Meanwhile, midfielder Willian continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United and Barcelona, even though Chelsea are reluctant to sell the 29-year-old Brazilian.

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Courtois looks set to be the biggest name leaving Chelsea in the next 48 hours, with the Belgian keeper failing to show up for training for the last two days after he told the club he wants to join Real Madrid to be nearer to his children, who live in Spain.