Sources have confirmed to AS that the Premier League club are keen to take up their purchase option on the Croatia midfielder, who is surplus to Zidane's plans.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal for Mateo Kovacic, sources close to the negotiation have confirmed to AS. Although the final details are yet to be tied off, it is believed the Premier League club will pay Madrid a fee in the region of 50 million euros for the Croatia midfielder.
Chelsea are currently under a transfer embargo but can acquire Kovacic on a permanent basis after the 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge. The Premier League club have until June 30, the date when that loan deal expires, to finalise a deal for Kovacic.
Kovacic and Llorente the only Madrid departures so far
The news will come as music to the ears of the Bernabéu bean counters as the Liga club tries to balance the books after splashing out just over €300m on Eden Hazard, Éder Militão, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo and Luka Jovic this summer. So far, only Marcos Llorente has left on a permanent basis, the midfielder heading to Atlético for a fee of €30m.
Kovacic is one of up to a dozen players who are surplus to requirements at Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane will be relieved if the deal goes through to free up another place on his squad list for next season. The Croatia midfielder made 52 appearances in all competitions last season as Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and lifted the Europa League trophy in Baku.