Chelsea will reportedly complete the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic on Saturday, in a deal said to be worth around £40m.
The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge, contributing just two assists with no goals in his 51 appearances.
Nevertheless, he proved to be a key player for Maurizio Sarri, and yet despite the Italian tactician’s departure earlier this month, it seems as though Chelsea will go ahead with plans to sign Kovacic on a permanent basis regardless.
According to respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, as per his tweet below, Kovacic has already agreed on personal terms and is expected to sign for the Blues on Saturday.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) June 28, 2019
It’s noted by BBC Sport that the deal is expected to cost Chelsea around £40m, and it’s explained that the transfer can still go through this summer despite the club’s transfer ban from UEFA.
Provided Kovacic is signed before his loan deal expires on June 30, Chelsea wouldn’t have to re-register him as one of their players, and so it’s evidently a loophole in the ban that they’ve identified and will use to ensure that they can keep him on to provide quality and depth.
Confirmation is seemingly imminent on that deal, and it’s interesting given that the Premier League giants have yet to appoint a successor for Sarri, and so perhaps whoever is set to step in and fill that void has already given the green light for Kovacic to be signed outright.
As per The Express, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard continues to be linked with the job, and perhaps he has already had his say on the squad.
In contrast, the club hierarchy may well have decided that given their inability to sign other players this summer, they felt it necessary to take advantage of the opportunity to sign Kovacic to keep his experience and quality at Stamford Bridge while perhaps looking to returning loanees to provide that spark alongside the squad from last season.