Chelsea close to loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic

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The Croatian star, 24, may be familiar to Sarri having spent time in Italy with Inter Milan, but he has found first-team football hard to come by with Real Madrid since his 2015 move to the Spanish capital.

Real have clarified that this was all above board and they knew about it, but it will certainly do nothing to quell speculation about Modric's future.

Club president Florentino Perez insists that any bidding suitors must meet Modric's astonishing £669million release clause with the European champions.

"I think the president said it, I don't think there's much more to add", the manager told a news conference, according to FourFourTwo.

Early rumours of Modric being linked with a transfer away from Real were initially given short shrift but that stance now appears to have softened with Inter continuing to show interest in a player who lit up the World Cup.

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Mid-speech, Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, looked up at the sky and winced after hearing the sound of an explosion. He blamed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for the incident.

Although they would succumb 4-2 in the final to France, Modric was recognised for his performances by winning the Golden Ball.

"He's an extraordinary player and we await his arrival [to pre-season] with open arms". He'll be happy with the proposal he receives here.

Real Madrid close out their ICC campaign against Roma on Tuesday before facing local rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup on August 15.

Now, Spanish newspaper Marca report that Chelsea are set to complete a shock deal, as Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is nearing a season-long loan move to Stamford Bridge.

Modric has two years remaining on the contract extension he signed in October 2016.

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