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Chelsea keen to hold contract talks with Mateo Kovacic after the World Cup

Chelsea are plotting to hold contract extension talks with Mateo Kovacic after the World Cup, according to the Evening Standard.

Kovacic is currently in the penultimate season of his existing deal at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea are now looking to tie down their midfielder even further as doubts continue to linger over the long-term futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

As things stand, both of the aforementioned players will become free agents in June 2023. Chelsea are yet to find an agreement with Jorginho over a new deal, while Kante’s contract talks have stalled due to his persistent injury woes – the latest of which has ruled him out for the next four months.

Due to their failed late pursuit of Edson Alvarez in the last transfer window, the Blues are expected to acquire the services of a new midfielder in January or next summer.

However, it is imperative that they keep hold of Kovacic, who has established himself as one of Chelsea’s most important players.

The Croatian joined Chelsea initially on loan from Real Madrid before making his move to west London permanent at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, after which he went on to win the club’s Player of the Year award the following season.

Having suffered from a knee problem earlier this term, Kovacic has had his minutes managed judiciously since returning to action with Graham Potter keen to avoid losing yet another key figure in the middle of the park.

The 28-year-old came off the bench earlier than expected in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United but is in line to feature from the start when Chelsea visit Red Bull Salzburg with a place in the Champions League knockout phase up for grabs this evening.

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