As reported by the Sun, Chelsea have joined the race to sign Real Madrid star Mateo Kovacic, and a successful deal for the Croatian could take the Blues onward and upward.

The 24-year-old, who got to the World Cup final with his country last month, has been on the periphery at los Blancos since his switch from Inter Milan in 2015, and has allegedly stated he wants to leave the Bernabeu this summer.

 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

That should be putting the Blues on high alert, because signing Kovacic would make their midfield truly fearsome with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante already in there.

The three-time Champions League winner is a supremely talented midfielder who is capable of playing a variety of different roles to a high standard.

He can operate as a defensive shield for a back four, a box-to-box player or a number 10 that supports the lone striker. What’s more, he is even comfortable drifting out wide on occasion. His versatility is arguably what makes him so coveted.

 (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Signing somebody like Kovacic would give Maurizio Sarri the luxury of being able to set up in a variety of different ways without compromising too much, and that has to be reason enough for the new Chelsea boss to shell out the apparent £54 million it would take to sign him.

It is a good price in today’s market, especially considering his age.

Such is the player’s natural all-round ability, he woul be a nightmare for opponents to keep tabs on. His comfort and ability anywhere on a football pitch should make swooping for him a no-brainer for Chelsea.