Maurizio Sarri wants to turn Mateo Kovacic’s loan spell at Chelsea into a permanent move.
The Croatian international signed on a season-long loan from Real Madrid last summer, and has made 42 appearances in all competitions for the club.
Sarri admits he is keen to sign the 24-year-old on a permanent basis, though Chelsea’s transfer plans are in jeopardy as they appeal a FIFA imposed transfer ban.
“No, I want to try with Kovacic,” Sarri told the press ahead of tonight’s clash with West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
“He is only on loan, of course, but I’d like very much that Kovacic will stay with us.
“You know very well that, in that position, we have some problems because we have only Jorginho. In my opinion, Kovacic could become a very good central midfielder.
“Of course, he is not a defensive midfielder (at the moment) but, as you know, in that position I prefer a very technical player.
“In the last match, Jorginho touched 161 balls. So, for us, it’s very important for us to have big quality in that position. Big quality not for the last pass, but big quality in terms of moving the ball.”