Chelsea and Real Madrid have reportedly agreed on a €45m fee for the sale of Mateo Kovacic this summer.
Chelsea signed Kovacic on a season-long loan deal last summer after struggling for regular opportunities during his three seasons at Real.
The Croatia international then wasted no time in establishing himself as a key member of the Blues midfield. Head coach Maurizio Sarri, in fact, often selected him ahead of the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Therefore, Kovacic made 51 appearances in all competitions and capped off a splendid campaign by helping Chelsea to a third-place Premier League finish and a Europa League winners medal.
But the 30-year-old’s future at Stamford Bridge appeared bleak despite being keen to remain. Sarri, who was a big admirer of Kovacic’s and repeatedly urged Chelsea to make his stay a permanent one, had left for Juventus.
Another factor was FIFA’s two-transfer window ban imposed on Chelsea for breaching rules regarding signing minors. The club have allegedly decided against appealing the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
It turns out, though, the Blues have still gone ahead in signing Kovacic permanently. Goal reports that they can still make the star’s stay a permanent one as they still hold the registration documents from last season’s loan deal.
Therefore, Chelsea have reportedly struck a final agreement of €45m with Real. The Spanish giants helped pave for Kovacic’s sale as they desperately need to make some sales to compensate for spending over €300m on new players this summer.
It will mark the Londoners’ second summer signing after their capture of the highly-rated Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.
Now, Chelsea will likely turn their attention to Frank Lampard after Derby County granted them permission to speak to their manager over replacing Sarri next season.