Chelsea have been offered Kovacic on a season-long loan as part of a deal for Thibaut Courtois. Real will also pay £35million for the goalkeeper.
Kovacic, 24, was due to have a medical with the Blues yesterday but Duncan Castles thinks the transfer could take an unexpected twist.
City are still looking for a midfielder having missed out on Jorginho to Chelsea – and he thinks they could stage a late raid for Kovacic.
And, if they do, Castles believes the Croatian World Cup star would prefer a move to the Etihad.
“Kovacic is an interesting one. It seems he’s been offered to Chelsea to help facilitate the Courtois deal,” Castles told the Transfer Window podcast.
“I.e – Real Madrid are saying to Chelsea ‘look we’ve got a player here, who is trying to get out of our club, we know you need further reinforcements in midfield, we know you’ve got problems getting a replacement goalkeeper, so let’s take your midfield issue away from you and let you have Kovacic on loan for a season and you can concentrate on getting a goalkeeper in’,
“What is questionable to me is whether Kovacic will agree to that deal.
“He’s one of the players that Txiki Begiristain has been investigating as an answer to Pep Guardiola’s demand for an experienced high quality midfielder to share duties with Fernandinho.
“From what I understand that’s still a live possibility this week.
“To get that deal to happen they’ll have to hope Manchester City don’t come in with a substantial offer because I’d say the likelihood is if Kovacic is given the choice between Manchester City and Chelsea he’ll chose City.”
The Blues last night announced that Kovacic ‘will join the Blues on a season-long loan’ but no unveiling has been made – yet.
Chelsea have signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Atletico Madrid for £72.1million, in a world-record transfer for a goalkeeper.
Thibaut Courtois is getting his dream move to Real Madrid in a deal that will see Mateo Kovacic join Chelsea on loan for the season. And Atletico stopper Kepa has headed in the other direction from Courtois, joining the Blues in a seven-year deal.
Belgium keeper Courtois only had a year left on his deal and has been absent from training this week as he looked to push through a reported £35million move before the transfer window ended for the Blues on Thursday.
Kepa told Chelsea’s official club website: “It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life.
“So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It’s an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well.”
Courtois’ move to Real Madrid is now only formalities away from completion.
A statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical.
“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”
Real Madrid have confirmed that Courtois will undergo a medical on Thursday morning, before signing a six-year deal and being presented at 1pm local time.