Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Real Madrid over a permanent deal for midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Kovacic is currently approaching the halfway stage of a season-long loan at Chelsea, where he has established himself as an important part of Maurizio Sarri's side.
Recent reports have suggested that Madrid are eager to offload the Croatia international on a permanent basis during the January transfer window, having been unimpressed with his attempts to push for an exit in the summer.
The Evening Standard reports that Chelsea have moved quickly to begin negotiations over making the loan deal permanent in order to beat competition from Tottenham Hotspur, who have also been credited with an interest.
Madrid are not willing to accept a cut-price fee for the 24-year-old, though, having paid £26.7m to sign him from Inter Milan in 2015.
Kovacic has made 17 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions so far this season, 13 of which have been as a starter.