The last we heard of Mario Pašalić, Atalanta were looking to exercise their buy-option for the Chelsea loanee in his second year at the club, again.
However, a lot has happened since then, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world. Because of the economic uncertainties, clubs are increasingly unwilling to spend (large sums of) money — especially in Serie A, with Italy one of the hardest hit countries by the disease.
While Atalanta’s purchase option for Pašalić is only €15m, they are looking to negotiate down the price, as per this report from Il Giorno (via Sport Witness). Atalanta’s argument is that they have already paid €1m in loan fees for each of the two seasons, so they should get a discount. They’re hoping that their good relations with the Chelsea hierarchy should ensure a reduction in the fee and they are maintaining “continuous contacts” in order to do so.
Pašalić has been in scintillating form for La Dea, contributing 7 goals and 7 assists in 32 games over the course of the season. His good form has made him a pivotal component of Atalanta’s squad, but with Chelsea’s penchant of extracting the maximum value from our departing players, it’s hard to see Atalanta being able to negotiate the price down too much, despite the circumstances.