By 90Min
November 18, 2018

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has refused to be drawn on speculation over whether he will make his temporary move to Chelsea permanent at the end of the season.

The Croatian star has made an encouraging start to life at Stamford Bridge, featuring regularly in midfield alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho under Maurizio Sarri.

Having struggled for game time previously with parent club Real Madrid, it has been suggested that the 24-year-old could look to seal a permanent switch to west London. However Kovacic insisted to Marca, via Football.London: “I wanted to be happy and at Chelsea I am.

“I just wanted to be happy and play matches, feel a responsibility within the team and I’ve found that at Chelsea.

“This is not the time to talk about anything other than playing and enjoying. I don’t want to think about what will happen and do want to be happy doing what I like, which is to play football every week.”

Kovacic joined Real Madrid with a reputation as one of the brightest young midfielders in Europe as he moved from Inter in 2015. However, the Croatia international struggled to find his feet at the Bernabeu.

With the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos ahead of him in the pecking order, Kovacic became a largely peripheral figure in the Spanish capital, making just 73 appearances in three years with Los Blancos.

By contrast, the playmaker has featured in 10 of Chelsea’s 12 Premier League games this term since joining on loan at Stamford Bridge during the summer.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Kovacic appears a far more trusted and well-utilised figure under Maurizio Sarri’s management, with his technical quality and strong passing range better showcased in Chelsea’s midfield setup.

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