Manchester United have reportedly joined the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who is also being pursued by Manchester City. Kovacic is set to enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge after this season, and it remains unclear whether Chelsea will offer him a new deal. According to The Guardian, Erik ten Hag, the manager of Dutch club Ajax, is interested in signing Kovacic, who he sees as an ideal player to add depth to his midfield. While Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes currently occupy Kovacic’s position, ten Hag believes that the Croatian’s Premier League experience makes him a valuable addition to his squad.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City had been leading the chase for Kovacic, with the Spanish manager reportedly keen on signing the former Real Madrid star as a possible replacement for Bernardo Silva, should the Portuguese midfielder leave this summer. However, Bayern Munich are also in the race for Kovacic, with German manager Thomas Tuchel keen on a reunion with the midfielder, whom he worked with during his time at Chelsea.
Kovacic has been a key player for Chelsea since joining the club on loan in 2018, and he made the move permanent in 2019 after an impressive season under former manager Maurizio Sarri. However, with his contract set to expire next year, the Croatian’s future at Stamford Bridge is uncertain. Speaking to the club’s official website, Kovacic expressed his love for the city of London and his desire to stay at Chelsea. He said, “I am five years here already, time flies, and I have been at Chelsea the longest of all the clubs. I feel really, really at home. There is nothing to not love in London. My family enjoys it, which makes it easier for me. The food is okay, maybe not like Italy or Spain! But London is amazing. My son goes to nursery here in London, he enjoys it, the people are so nice. I can only say good things about London and England. We feel really great here.”
Kovacic also reflected on his time playing in different countries and experiencing new cultures, saying, “I had the luck to be in great countries, great cities, new cultures, meeting amazing people. I am blessed I could experience so many nice countries. I learned many lessons, but most of all just to respect all people. How they treated me I can just be thankful, and I tried to treat them the same way they treated me. Just be polite as much as I can, which is not always easy, but be myself. When I see where I have been it’s really amazing. I’m just thankful for the people I have met. It’s been a nice journey.”
While Kovacic has expressed his desire to stay at Chelsea, the lack of a new contract offer from the Blues has left his future uncertain. With Manchester United and Manchester City both interested in the midfielder, it remains to be seen where he will be playing next season. However, given his impressive performances for Chelsea over the past few years, it is clear that Kovacic will be a valuable addition to any team that signs him.