Chelsea preparing to sign £40m-rated central midfielder

Chelsea are looking to sign Mateo Kovacic permanently even if their transfer ban is upheld following the injury sustained by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The English midfielder ruptured his Achilles tendon in the friendly match in Boston and successfully underwent surgery, though will be sidelined for the start of the new campaign.

Although Chelsea are currently appealing a two-window suspension, The Telegraph reports they will be permitted to sign players on loan at the moment – namely Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain – permanently.

As such, the club are set to push ahead with a deal to sign Mateo Kovacic, who made 32 Premier League matches on loan from Real Madrid this past campaign.

Maurizio Sarri regularly preferred the Croatian to Ruben Loftus-Cheek for much of the season despite some underwhelming displays, and he would be open to completing a permanent switch to Stamford Bridge.

However, there is one big snag, with the Blues having neglected to include a buy-out clause in Mateo Kovacic’s contract when he made a move to west London last summer.

The Premier League giants would, therefore, need to negotiate a fee with Real Madrid before his loan finishes at the end of June, with the Spanish club setting a price tag of around £40 million.

Real Madrid are willing to offload the 25-year-old, however, as they look to raise funds for a massive summer spend and Zinedine Zidane does not see the midfielder as part of his plans at Santiago Bernabeu.

Gonzalo Higuain is less likely to join, meanwhile, having netted  just five league goals while on loan from Juventus.