Chelsea will be required to pay a ‘significant fee’ in order to land Mateo Kovacic on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Claims from the London Evening Standard confirm that talks between the two clubs have started but hint that the Spanish side will not lose him on the cheap.

With his long-term future at Real up in the air, the Spanish side opted against putting in an option to buy for Chelsea as part of the deal that saw him move to London during the summer transfer window.

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Kovacic has since settled in nicely at Stamford Bridge, becoming a regular in Maurizio Sarri’s three-man midfield.

The Croatian has even talked up the chances of him remaining at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

However, the sticking point will come at how much Chelsea will agree to pay for the player who is believed to have a release clause of €300 million.