Chelsea are ready to rip up their transfer plans and back out of a permanent deal for Mateo Kovacic after giving the green light to Maurizio Sarri to take over at Juventus.
The Italian champions are expected to announce the 60-year-old’s arrival in the coming days, with Chelsea happy to part ways with Sarri despite the side’s Europa League triumph and a third-place finish in the Premier League.
Despite Chelsea’s looming transfer ban, the side would have been permitted to turn Kovacic’s loan into a permanent deal – with Sarri keen to keep the Croatian in his squad.
But with Sarri now leaving, The Evening Standard report that Chelsea are having seconds thoughts about completing a deal for Kovacic as he may not suit the next manager’s style.
The 25-year-old made 51 appearances last season and was a key component of ‘Sarri-ball’, though he failed to score for the Blues and registered just two assists in the Premier League.
Chelsea did not include a buyout fee in their agreement with Real Madrid, and the Spanish giants have now slapped a £50million valuation on Kovacic after Inter Milan registered their interest.
Despite their predicament with being unable to register new players – which does not apply to Kovacic if a deal is completed by the end of the month – Chelsea are nevertheless wary of committing such a substantial outlay to a player who may not be in the next manager’s plans.
Instead, Chelsea could look to existing options to bolster their midfield, with Mason Mount – who has been on loan at Derby under potential Sarri successor Frank Lampard – and Tiemoue Bakayoko returning to Stamford Bridge.
Bakayoko’s agent has already hinted he will stay at Chelsea, telling L’Equipe: ‘There are some pretty interested clubs, quite big clubs that have enquired but we give priority to Chelsea.
‘We already know there is the Champions League [at Chelsea] and we are looking for stability. Tiemoue has decided to stay there.’