Mateo Kovacic set to be offered new Inter Milan deal

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Mateo Kovacic is set to be offered a new contract at Inter Milan, seemingly dealing a hefty blow to the respective transfer hopes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

According to recent reports from Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport brought to our attention by talkSPORT, the aforementioned duo are both long-term admirers of Kovacic, the impressive midfielder who was also subject to admiring glances from La Liga title hopefuls Real Madrid this summer.

However, the chances of any of those three reputable clubs landing the Croatian international in January or indeed in any upcoming transfer window look increasingly doubtful, with the very same source suggesting that Inter are looking to fend off mounting interest in Kovavic offering him a contract extension that will supposedly include a sharp wage increase.

Impressive Kovacic

Versatile midfielder Kovacic - who represented his country at the recent World Cup in Brazil - is still in the very early stages of his fledgling career, having only joined Inter from reigning Prva HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb last January.

The 20-year-old quickly made an impact at the San Siro, however, becoming a regular in Walter Mazzarri's midfield following the latter's appointment as manager after the dismissal of former caretaker Andrea Stramaccioni.

Not known as a particularly prolific scorer - in fact, he is yet to register a single goal in 46 Serie A appearances - Kovacic signalled his intent for the new campaign by surprisingly netting a hat-trick for Inter during their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie against Úrvalsdeild outfit Stjarnan FC last month.

While the weakness of the Icelandic opposition cannot go unnoticed, it seems that Kovacic could be ready to add yet another potent weapon to his already impressive all-round game.

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Price increase

While a new contract with his current employers may not totally rule out Arsenal, Chelsea or indeed Real Madrid from continuing their interest in Kovacic, it should undoubtedly make it a whole lot tougher to prise him away given that it demonstrates a clear sign of commitment to the cause.

An improved deal obviously makes any future transfer that much more expensive, too, both in terms of the potential fee involved - Inter will be under no hint of pressure whatsoever to sell - and the wages required.

Arsenal/Chelsea interest

It could certainly be suggested that Arsenal are in need of a canny operator such as Kovacic to provide competition for the ageing Mikel Arteta in that deep-lying midfield role, although whether Chelsea are in need of any reinforcements in this particular area is a matter for considerable debate.

The arrival of former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in June has led to Jose Mourinho possessing one of the Premier League's most impressive and dynamic midfield pairings, with plenty of quality still left in reserve in the event that the Spaniard or partner Nemanja Matic suffers an injury.

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