The Telegraph report that Chelsea are more likley to sign Kovacic now that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has sustained a long-term injury.
Loftus-Cheek ruptured his achilles in a pre-Europa League final friendly in Boston and is thought to be out for up to a year.
Chelsea, who are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to have their ban overturned, thought that Loftus-Cheek might blossom as a benficiary of such a ban.
However, they are now reportedly keen to make Kovacic's loan a permanant one to make up numbers in midfield.
It was thought Kovacic may move to Zenit St Petersburg after failing to make an impact at Chelsea, but the Stamford Bridge side could turn to the Croatian international long-term.
Chelsea are less keen to extend Gonzalo Higuain's stay at Stamford Bridge. It would cost them £15m to activate a further year-long loan spell, or £31m to sign the 31-year-old permanently.
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