Chelsea loanee Mario Pašalić is set to stay at Atalanta, but the exact manner in which he will do that remains unclear. His loan contract this season did include a €15m buy-option, but the Serie A side seem reluctant to exercise it despite recent reports to the contrary and the player’s own desire to find some stability in his career.
Now, according to the Italian transfer oracle, Gianluca Di Marzio, Atalanta have managed to convince Chelsea to agree to yet another loan instead. Presumably, another buy-option will be included, though without actually enforcing it, it’s all a bit academical.
While Pašalić only started 17 league games last season, he made 33 appearances overall, and his 5 goals (fourth highest on the team) and 3 assists in Serie A certainly played a part in Atalanta's best ever finish and Champions League qualification.
But as nice as it will be for him to continue there, the renewed loan seems to be not the most ideal arrangement in terms of the business aspect, especially if FIFA do start cracking down on loan armies and the like. Pašalić also only has two years left on his Chelsea contract, so any leverage we may have will start to dwindle away as well.