Chelsea is reportedly prioritizing Mateo Kovacic’s contract renewal.
Kovacic joined Chelsea for £40m from Real Madrid in 2019.
Before being signed permanently, he was on loan at Chelsea.
The 28-year-old was on three Champions League-winning Madrid teams but didn’t appear in any finals.
Since leaving Spain, Kovacic has been vital for Chelsea.
The Croatian playmaker came off the bench in the 80th minute of 2021’s Champions League final.
Graham Potter, who replaced Thomas Tuchel as head coach in September, has kept him in the starting XI.
Chelsea beat RB Salzburg 2-1 on Tuesday thanks to Kovacic’s performance.
Kai Havertz scored the game-winning goal in the second half.
Potter and club officials want to extend Kovacic’s contract.
His contract expires in 2024, thus the club wants to prevent a situation like Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.
Both players’ contracts expire next year, and they’re unlikely to re-sign in west London.
After another injury, the Frenchman might miss four months.
Head coach Potter must also manage Kovacic’s minutes owing to a knee injury, which isn’t ideal given the Croatian’s form.
Because of Kante’s injuries, Chelsea is hesitant to sign him long-term.
Thankfully, his condition isn’t expected to deteriorate.
According to the Evening Standard, the Blues are ‘prioritizing’ a contract extension for Kovacic.
The midfielder is ‘open’ to staying in London after the World Cup in Qatar.
Kovacic’s goal Tuesday helped his team reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
They’ll win Group E, topping AC Milan, Dinamo Zagreb, and Salzburg.
Jason Cundy isn’t convinced despite Graham Potter’s unblemished start.
He feels Potter is doing a “great job,” but they must improve if they want to finish in the Premier League’s top four.
“I’m seeing a definite upturn,” Cundy told talkSPORT. “Still not at the very level that I think we need to be.
“I think we’re off it a little bit still. We’re doing much better, Potter’s done a brilliant job, but there’s still more to come from this side.
“I feel there has to be if we’re going to get top four. Because right now we’re at about a seven [out of 10] and there’s more to come.
“Credit to Potter, because he’s come in and hasn’t been beaten yet. But the first 20 minutes, 30 minutes against Manchester United, we got played off the park.”