While the FIFA transfer ban prevents Chelsea from signing (i.e registering) any new players this summer, it’s been reported (though not confirmed) that we can extend the registrations of players we had already signed on loan (and thus registered) last season, namely Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain. And while Higuain will almost definitely not continue at Chelsea next season, it looks like Kovacic just might.
According to Madrid-based Marca today, Chelsea have in fact found an agreement with Real Madrid for a permanent transfer at “around €50m”. That’s certainly on the high end of the fees potentially rumored for the 25-year-old midfielder, with reports earlier guessing closer to €35m, though that was before we excluded the Kovacic negotiations from any of the then-ongoing Eden Hazard talks.
Marca claim that Frank Lampard has already given his approval for the transfer, though Chelsea must hurry a little bit since the loan contract expires on June 30 (Sunday), after which he would count as a new registration and thus prevented by the transfer ban.
Here’s Fabrizio Romano confirming the deal, with a clarification on the total price as well.
While Kovacic received mixed reviews for his performances last season, and he certainly won’t be confused for a goal-scoring midfielder, his versatility, technique, and general excellence should remain huge assets for the team.
Kovacic 18/19 vs League average.— SN (@rubeycheeked) June 26, 2019
His obvious strengths are taking ball from deep areas and dribbling into final 3rd. pic.twitter.com/9etIvJusyR