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Graham Potter keen to keep Mateo Kovacic at Chelsea after standout displays

Mateo Kovacic has less than 18 months left on his current Chelsea deal (Zach Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Graham Potter expected to reach agreement on Mateo Kovacic He will remain at Chelsea after his contract expires next summer.

The Croatian has captained Potter’s side in recent weeks after Thiago Silva was injured in January and Jorginho was sold to Arsenal.

Kovacic, who has become a key operator in Potter’s midfield alongside Enzo Fernandes, is reportedly linked to a reunion with Bayern Munich and former Chelsea boss. Thomas Tuchelwas appointed last week.

Bayern have already approached assistant coach Anthony Barry to join Tuchel in the Bundesliga championship and Potter said the club is unlikely to stand in the way of the 36-year-old if he chooses to move. It has said.

With the two sides likely to face each other in the Champions League semi-finals in May, Barry’s deal is likely to be delayed. I implied that there is a possibility that

But Kovacic, who came back revitalized after Croatia finished third at the World Cup in Qatar after struggling at Stamford Bridge in the first half of the season, is a different story, with Potter facing player contract issues. Eager to resolve.

The manager praised the impact the stand-in captain had on his leadership role.

“The club is always talking to players (about contracts),” Potter said. “That doesn’t mean it’s public. These things happen behind the scenes, and if there’s anything to report, we can report it.”

“He (Kovačić) is someone I have a lot of respect for as a person. He is very kind to us and very supportive. For me he’s important, but it’s between Mateo and the club.

“He was tough before the World Cup. He had an ongoing knee problem, but he nursed it and survived almost the entire season. The way he treated himself was absolutely wonderful.

“He’s been working behind the scenes to always be available. He’s been to the World Cup. It’s been a great experience for him and a break from everything. He’s come back really good. .

“He’s really stepped up in the last few weeks. He’s shown his qualities and he’s shown leadership.”

chelsea face Aston Villa They are looking to take a three-point lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday against Unai Emery’s side in the middle of the Premier League table.

Potter from Solihull birminghaman area with typically strong Villa supporters, reportedly supporters of the club, set a record before the match.

“When I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, the team was Aston Villa because they had just won the European Cup[in1982],” said Potter. “My first memory in football is when they brought the European Cup to the Shirley British Legion. It shows how much football has changed.

“My brother had a picture of him sitting at the European Cup with Ken McNaught and Peter With. But my father was a fan of Birmingham City, and I was watching Birmingham too.

“Any fan would say you couldn’t be Birmingham or Aston Villa. I don’t think so, but I liked both teams.”

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