Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri hopes midfielder Mateo Kovačić will make his loan spell at the club permanent in the future.
The Premier League side, who visit St James’ Park on Sunday to take on Newcastle United in the English top-flight, brought in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalist on a season-long loan from Real Madrid earlier this month.
The 24-year-old, who has 46 international caps for Croatia, made his first competitive appearance for The Blues during last Saturday’s 3-2 home win against Arsenal, replacing Ross Barkley for the final 30 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Kovačić, who featured five times for his country at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, where Croatia lost 4-2 to France in the final, joined Chelsea this summer to sweeten the deal that saw Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois join Madrid in a deal worth up to £35m.
The Daily Star reports new Blues boss Sarri sees the central midfielder as an important player for his side this campaign, and he could be in line for his first start for the club at Newcastle tomorrow afternoon (16:00).
Sarri has been impressed with Kovačić’s impact at Stamford Bridge so far, and was asked whether he would like to sign the Croatia star permanently.
He replied, “It’s too early to say.
“I like him and hopefully he could stay here.”
Kovačić is valued at £27m, by transfermarkt.
Written by Dan Church Follow @DJChurch94