Chelsea have decided to turn Mateo Kovacic’s loan into a permanent deal and have reportedly agreed a £45million transfer fee with Real Madrid after consulting incoming Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, according to Metro.
Chelsea are unable to sign players this summer due to a transfer ban imposed on the club by FIFA but can sign both Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain permanently as both players are currently registered with the club until their loans officially expire.
Higuain will return to his parent club Juventus when his loan deal with Chelsea expires at the end of the month while Chelsea have opted to sign Kovacic permanently.
The permanent signing of Kovacic must be completed before the end of the month, when his loan expires. Chelsea are only eligible to sign Kovacic while he is still registered with the club and his registration expires on June 30.
Chelsea did not negotiate an option to buy Kovacic outright when signing him on loan last season, so have been somewhat held to ransom by Real with the Spanish side settling for £45m including bonuses.
Kovacic made 32 appearances in the Premier League for Chelsea last season and another 12 appearances in the Europa League but failed to score for the Blues.
The longterm injury suffered by Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the end of the season might have forced Chelsea’s hand to sign Kovacic permanently.