From Spain: Manchester City summer target to join Chelsea on loan in a ‘matter of hours’

He was linked quite heavily with Manchester City, particularly after Jorginho joined Chelsea, but Mateo Kovacic is set to join Chelsea on loan, Marca reports.

The 24-year-old Croatian international was briefed by City as one of two alternatives to Jorginho being considered during that saga – the other being Southampton’s Mario Lemina – but after Jorginho went to Chelsea, City said they had no further interest in Kovacic.

The midfielder has been pushing all summer for a move away from Real Madrid because he wants more game time, and in recent minutes Marca, the Real Madrid-connected Spanish newspaper, has reported that Kovacic is ‘one step away’ from heading to Stamford Bridge on loan.

Pep Guardiola confirmed after City’s Wembley win over Chelsea that he would like one more midfielder in before the deadline shuts – one who can substitute for Fernandinho – which perhaps explains why interest in Kovacic hasn’t been followed up on.

With so little time left in the English transfer window, if City are to bring in an extra midfield face, they must act fast. The club have now denied having any interest in Kovacic, Miralem Pjanic, Thiago Alcantara, Marco Verratti or Julian Weigl, so if a new player is set to arrive, it could be a surprise name.

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