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Mateo Kovacic praises ‘top team’ as he drops major transfer exit hint with Chelsea future up in the air

MATEO Kovacic has praised a “top team” as he dropped a major transfer exit hint with his Chelsea future up in the air.

As new manager Mauricio Pochettino looks to overhaul his midfield this summer, Kovacic has been linked with a move away from the club.

Mateo Kovacic has praised a “top team” in the latest hint over his Chelsea future

Premier League champions Manchester City are believed to have already “opened talks” with the Croatian as they plan for next season.

Kovacic, who is currently on international duty, has now fuelled those rumours with his latest comments.

He told Nacional, via the Evening Standard: “I have one more year with Chelsea, this season was very bad.

“Everything is going towards the fact that after 5 good years I will change, but in football anything can happen.

“Right now, I’m focused on Croatia and the Nations League.

“Manchester City is a top team and deserves to be in the Champions League final.

“That’s what I have to say. The summer is long, we’ll see what happens.

“Chelsea is phenomenal for me. I love the city and the fans, they love me, I have wonderful memories of Chelsea. We’ll see what happens.”

Manchester United and Bayern Munich have also been linked with moves for Kovacic, who is entering the final year of his current deal.

The 29-year-old has made 221 appearances for the Blues, having made a loan move from Real Madrid permanent in 2019.

He also won four major trophies including the Champions League and Club World Cup.

A potential exit from Stamford Bridge would fall in line with Pochettino’s reported plans to overhaul his midfield.

The position is seen as a priority in the transfer market this summer, with “mini-Kaka” Gabri Veiga the latest player linked with Chelsea.

As for other outgoings, Mason Mount remains in talks with United and N’Golo Kante is edging closer to a move to Saudi Arabia.