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Chelsea 24-year-old star edge closer to seal shock move to Arsenal

Arsenal have seemingly moved ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

The Blues secured a season-long loan deal for Kovacic last summer, and Maurizio Sarri is likely to be keen on securing the Croatia international’s signature on a permanent basis should he remain at Stamford Bridge.

However, according to Ladbrokes, Arsenal are the favourites to push through a deal for Kovacic before the start of next season.

Chelsea are currently facing the prospect of being banned from completing signings for the next two transfer windows, while Arsenal want to find a replacement for the outgoing Aaron Ramsey.

Kovacic still has just over two years remaining on his contract at Real, but the return of Zinedine Zidane is likely to lead to the Spanish giants looking to cash in on the player.

Meanwhile, AS Roma remain interested in appointing Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri as the club’s new manager.

Sarri finds himself under pressure to keep his job at Stamford Bridge, and it was claimed earlier this year that Roma wanted to replace Eusebio Di Francesco with the Blues boss.

Roma have since replaced Di Francesco with Claudio Ranieri on a short-term deal, but according to the London Evening Standard, the Serie A outfit still want to bring in Sarri.

The report claims that club officials are ready to make an approach for Sarri in the summer, regardless of whether the 60-year-old remains in charge of Chelsea.