Chelsea Loan Army warrior Danilo Pantić was one of the names included on Chelsea’s official released list at the end of the Premier League season, so it was a bit of a surprise to see a story pop up today on the official Chelsea website about the 24-year-old’s “permanent transfer” to FK Partizan ... but I’m guessing this has got something to do with Pantić’s Chelsea contract technically not expiring for two more weeks, but Partizan already starting their preseason. (Similar to the story of Marco van Ginkel’s expected signing with PSV Eindhoven.)
So, while Pantić was officially announced today by Partizan, having signed a 3-year contract, said contract won’t actually come into effect until July 1. Thus, it’s termed a “transfer” rather than just a free agent signing. Still, it doesn’t sound like there is any transfer fee involved (nor would we expect one), with local reports making a big deal out of how Chelsea’s €3m asking price a couple years ago was just outrageous already.
That price was the built-in purchase option the last time Pantić went back to Partizan, from where Chelsea signed him back in 2015. Pantić spent two productive years back home, including being named to the Serbian SuperLiga Team of the Season in 2017-18, but his loans outside of Serbia have not gone as well (Vitesse and Excelsior in the Netherlands, Fehérvár in Hungary). Last season he was back in the motherland, though with FK Čukarički, doing well once again — they want to sign him for good, but he’s chosen to go home.
And so, the Pantić circle of life is complete.
Good luck, dude!
Here’s a museum piece and future bit of obscure trivia of Marko Marin and Danilo Pantić training at Cobham in 2016. Marin’s apparently in Saudi Arabia now?