The Croatian star is in talks with the Blues over a loan move to Stamford Bridge, with the Croatia international having grown frustrated at his lack of regular first-team football at Madrid.
The world cup finalist has refused to train with the squad after demanding for more playing time which he is not likely to get after falling down the pecking orders behind the likes of Casemiro, and Toni Kroos, and his fellow country man, Luka Modric preferred in central midfield.
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has revealed his side will try to find an “extremely high level” replacement for Mateo Kovacic ahead of his impending switch to Chelsea.
Kovacic, who appeared five times at the World Cup as Croatia reached the final, has often had to play second fiddle at Santiago Bernabeu, with the likes of
And when asked about the player’s impending switch to Chelsea, Lopetegui confirmed that, should he leave, Madrid will try to bring in a suitable replacement before the transfer window closes.
“There’s nothing 100 per cent certain yet,” he revealed.
“Mateo has said he wants to leave. I want him to stay – he’s an important player. We’ll see how everything ends up. If he happens to leave, we’ll look for solutions.”
Lopetegui, the ex -Spain national team coach added that the solutions are something to be privately discussed within the club. If Mateo does leave, a player of his level, which is extremely high, we’ll have to look for someone at that type of level.
“To reach all of our objectives we need to have a balanced team and he [plays] a very important position and he’s a very important player.”
Real Madrid are also on the verge of losing one of their midfield maestro with the Croatian captain eyeing a possible switch to Serie A side Inter.
The Madrid boss reiterated the message given by club president Florentino Perez, however, who had joked that the Croatian can leave if a club pays his mammoth €750 million (£670m/$870m) release clause.
“As for Modric, it’s the same as I’ve said – Perez spoke in a completely clear manner and there’s no reason for me to add anything else”, he said.
Madrid are currently in talks over the signing of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea, with the goalkeeper having been absent from training as he looks to force through a move to the Spanish capital after a fantastic World Cup performance earning him the tournament’s Golden Glove.