MATEO KOVACIC is reportedly wanted by Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich as his contract runs down at Chelsea.
The Croatian has been at Stamford Bridge, first on loan and now permanently, since 2018 and is popular with the fanbase.
But his contract expires in 16 months and he would be available as a free transfer if he does not extend his deal before the end of next season.
And the Evening Standard report Tuchel, his former manager with the Blues, is among those looking at the star.
The German was installed as Bayern boss last week, quickly after the shock sacking of Julian Nagelsmann, and has already set his sights on his ex-club.
Tuchel, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, is also keen to bring in Blues coach Anthony Barry.
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The interest in Kovacic goes beyond just his former boss with Manchester City also believed to be a fan of the dynamic midfielder.
The 28-year-old is seen as an important first-team player and has even served as Chelsea’s captain over the last four games due to absences of major stars like Thiago Silva.
But manager Graham Potter and chairman Todd Boehly have big decisions to make on outgoings after the club announced a huge loss of £121m earlier this week.
The London club now face a huge summer clear-out to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, having spend over £600m on new signings in the last year.
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Profitable homegrown stars like midfielder Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are among the players who the club could potentially sell.
But one squad member who is expected to stay is N’Golo Kante, who has not played a senior game for Chelsea since August.
The Frenchman, who turns 32 tomorrow, has been struggling with injury for much of the season but could soon put pen to paper on a contract extension.
He is on the path back to full fitness with some of his supportive teammates cheering him on at an U21 game earlier this month.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk