Mateo Kovacic interested in extending Chelsea stay
Last Updated: 26/12/18 2:10pm
Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic says he could "imagine" himself staying with the Blues for the long term.
The Croatia international is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid and he has been a consistent performer for Maurizio Sarri's side.
Kovacic says he is enjoying life in the Premier League and would be happy to join permanently - if Real agreed to the deal.
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Asked if was pleased with the loan move to date, Kovacic said: "I think it was the most important thing I did for now in my career.
"It was a step I wanted a lot, I wanted to come here. I say thank you to my previous club, to Chelsea as well, who wanted me a lot. I am enjoying it and I like it a lot here.
"For now, I am happy here. The city is amazing, the club is one of the best in the world, and my team-mates are great.
"I need to respect my previous club, Real Madrid. I can imagine myself staying here, but I have a contract I need to respect, and that is what I will do.
"For now, my business is to give my best every day."
Real Madrid have been reportedly linked with Chelsea forward Eden Hazard - but for the time being Kovacic is enjoying linking up with the Belgian, and does not think Hazard is hankering after a move.
"For me, he is an incredible player," said Kovacic.
"I did not know he was that good and he can easily be one of the two or three best players in the world.
"He asked me how it was there (at Real) but we are looking forward to having a great season together, to be fully concentrated on Chelsea.
"He is focused a lot on doing great things with Chelsea."