Chelsea set to make Mateo Kovacic signing permanent
Midfielder has been on loan from Real Madrid and Chelsea now prepared to pay €50m
Mateo Kovacic is set to sign a permanent deal with Chelsea. Photo: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
Chelsea are poised to complete the permanent signing of Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic for a fee which could rise to €50m (£44.8m) with add-ons. The Croat spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge and, as part of that deal, is allowed to join the club despite a transfer ban.
Fifa has handed Chelsea a two-window transfer ban, starting this summer, after a lengthy investigation into how they have registered players at their academy over a number of years. Chelsea have denied wrongdoing.
The club appealed against the decision to the court of arbitration for sport this month but the ban has not been frozen.
Chelsea signed Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund in January but loaned him back to the Bundesliga club until this summer and Kovacic is ready to join the USA international as Chelsea’s second, and in all likelihood last, purchase before the new season.
Kovacic made 51 appearances for Chelsea last season but failed to score. He joined Real Madrid in 2015 after two years at Internazionale but failed to hold down a regular starting place at the Bernabéu.
Eden Hazard has left Chelsea, joining Real Madrid for an initial €95m in a deal that could rise to €145m. The club are hoping to appoint Frank Lampard as their manager this week, replacing Maurizio Sarri, who has joined Juventus.
The new manager will have the chance to work with some of the club’s younger players, who have in the past been loaned out, and the striker Tammy Abraham is one of those hoping to get a chance.
“This year is the most important year for us. It is now or never,” said the striker during the Under-21 European Championship. “There will never be a better time to play the youngsters. Of course the transfer ban is probably not what the club wanted but for us it is exciting. I am excited and I am sure the rest of the players are.” – Guardian