Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has admitted that Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has asked to leave the club this summer, although the boss seemingly isn't too concerned by it as he simply expressed that a replacement will have to be found if it happens.
It was reported in Spain earlier this week that Kovacic, who is seeking more regular game time after largely operating as a fringe player since he arrived in Madrid in 2015, could go on strike and refuse to train after Real labelled him 'untransferable'.
He was then suddenly linked with a loan move to Chelsea as it became clear that Real were willing to grant his wish and let him go at least temporarily.
Now, speaking about the developing situation following a 2-1 pre-season win over Roma in New Jersey, Lopetegui has acknowledged that Kovacic wants a new club but that no deal with Chelsea or anyone else has yet been arranged.
"It's true that Kovacic has expressed his desire to leave," the coach is quoted as saying by Marca. "I wanted him to stay as he is important for us but it is true that nothing is 100 percent yet.
"There is no deal done for him yet. If he leaves we will have to find another player of his level and we will look for solutions."
Should Kovacic wish to join Chelsea or another English club a deal must happen before 5pm (BST) on Thursday as that is when the Premier League transfer window closes.
Alternatively, he still has three more weeks until the end of the month to join a club in another top European league, while Real equally have until then to sign a replacement.