Mateo Kovacic is expected to sign a permanent contract with Chelsea in a deal worth up to £50 million, following his loan spell at the club last season.
Although Chelsea are currently under the auspices of a transfer embargo courtesy of Fifa, they can still complete the transfer of the Kroat from Real Madrid as it is seen as an extension of the current loan arrangement between the two clubs.
The Blues have until July 1 to complete the transfer, as that is the date upon which the loan ends, and won’t be able to register any new players until the summer of 2020.
Kovacic had an unremarkable 2018/19 campaign in south west London, but the club are eager to keep the player despite the high asking price due to a dearth of midfield options.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) June 26, 2019
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is recovering from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and is not expected to be fit for the opening few months of next season, while Danny Drinkwater is unlikely to see the light of day again, never mind pull on a Chelsea jersey in the foreseeable future.
That leaves Chelsea with just N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, and Jorginho as regular starters in midfield, illustrating why they are willing to pay such a premium for Kovacic, who will be the club’s only signing this summer.
Although Gonzalo Higuain can also be signed, it is believed that Chelsea are not interested in doing so, according to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sports.
Rafa’s replacement, Sane staying at Man City, and Liverpool’s first signing …
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— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) June 27, 2019