- Kovacic's deal expires in June 2024
- Chelsea yet to open negotiations
- City and Bayern monitoring situation
WHAT HAPPENED? That's according to a recent report from the Evening Standard, who note that Manchester City and Bayern Munich - now headed by former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel - have been put on high alert by the midfielder's situation. Despite Graham Potter handing Kovacic the armband in recent games in the absence of Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva, the report states that it is now looking increasingly likely that the Croatia international will be sold in the summer, before he is eligible to leave on a free transfer.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: This may become a trend for several Chelsea stars, as it was reported on Monday that the west London club may need to trigger a mass exodus of players to comply with FFP rules, after they posted a second successive year of losses in 2021-22. Mason Mount is another midfielder who could be shown the exit door, with Tuchel keeping tabs on another one of his Champions League winning players.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Kovacic, meanwhile, could find himself moved on as Chelsea hunt for a new midfield partner for record signing Enzo Fernandez. Players such as West Ham's Declan Rice, Brighton stars Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister and Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia have all been mooted to come in. The Croat may be used to make room for new arrivals instead of N'Golo Kante, as the Frenchman nears an agreement on a two-year extension.
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WHAT NEXT FOR KOVACIC? There is still time, of course, for negotiations to get underway. In the meantime, the 28-year-old will be focused on captaining Chelsea's slow recovery this campaign, which gets back underway against fellow mid-table side Aston Villa on Saturday, who sit below the Blues in 11th on goal difference alone.