Croatian World Cup star Mateo Kovacic is facing a big battle in his quest to make his move to Chelsea permanent.
The midfielder is currently on a season-long loan from European champions Real Madrid.
He joined the Blues during the summer’s transfer window as part of the deal that took ex-Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid.
According to the London Evening Standard, the former Inter Milan midfielder will struggle to make his move to Chelsea permanent due to the form of both Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The two England internationals have contributed more goals and assists to the Chelsea squad despite the fact that they have enjoyed lesser minutes in comparison with Kovacic in the Chelsea midfield.
His hefty price tag could also play a part in a potential move to the Blues on a permanent basis.
Mateo Kovacic has three years left on his current deal with Real Madrid.
He has a release clause of £262m in his contract with the Champions League holders.
Real Madrid see him as the long-term successor to compatriot Luka Modric in the Los Merengues’ midfield and will only sell him to the Premier League giants if they can get at least £50m for him.