MANCHESTER CITY have reportedly opened talks with Chelsea over a deal for Mateo Kovacic.
The Croatian midfielder is out of contract in 2024.
And Fabrizio Romano claims Pep Guardiola is keen on adding him to his stable of champions.
City have already held positive talks with Kovacic’s representatives over the past few days.
Chelsea are open to selling the 29-year-old playmaker after he entered the final year of his Stamford Bridge deal.
And “concrete talks” have now begun between the two Premier League rivals over a summer switch.
Kovacic has been with the Blues since 2018 after an initial loan from Real Madrid.
He has six goals in 221 games, helping his side to Champions League and Europa League glory.
But it appears new boss Mauricio Pochettino does not have room for the experienced ace in his future plans.
The Argentine tactician has already shown the door to loanees Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria.
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Ruben Loftus-Cheek is now on the verge of joining AC Milan.
And Christian Pulisic could also be on his way to Italy with Juventus.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks set to be released from his contract.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is also attracting Premier League interest.
And Cesar Azpilicueta may have played his last game for Chelsea after an emotional display in the final day draw against Newcastle.
Todd Boehly is determined to cash in where possible after a £600million transfer splurge – with more reinforcements on the way.
Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah and Hakim Ziyech are also likely to leave.
And there are strong doubts over the futures of contract rebels Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante.
Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga also face uncertain futures.
And it’s still not known whether Romelu Lukaku, Ian Maatsen and Levi Colwill will be involved once their loan spells away end.
As for incomings, Poch is hoping to add Sporting Lisbon anchorman Manuel Ugarte to his midfield.
He also wants a new goalkeeper, with Inter Milan’s Andre Onana and Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez eyed.
And with RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku already on his way with Lyon’s Malo Gusto, a new centre-forward will also be targeted.