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Despite the transfer ban, Chelsea were able to sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid because the Blues had already registered the 25-year-old when he was on loan and did not require another registration.
Kovacic was a key player for Maurizio Sarri last season and made 51 appearances for the Blues. Chelsea went on to spend £40 million for his signing.
Kovacic signed a five-year deal with the Blues and is reportedly on £75,000-a-week wages.
Kovacic has revealed that his relationship with the club and the Chelsea fans made him move to Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis.
“It means a lot because I saw the club wanted me and I wanted to stay here from the first day,” Kovacic explained.
“We had a good connection so I’m happy to stay here, to work hard and play well.
“I had a good relationship with the fans from the start. We had some good games and some bad games but I think in the end we did a good job.”
Kovacic made 32 Premier League appearances last season but failed to register a single assist or goal and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson sees his signing as a waste of money, revealing that Chelsea only signed the 24-year-old because of the club’s transfer ban.
“Do you think (Mateo) Kovacic would have signed for Chelsea without there being a transfer embargo?” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think he scored a goal and they’ve paid upwards of £40m. They’ve signed him because they need another body, surely?
“It’s not all about this year, it’s a three-year contract, and as a Chelsea fan it feels like a good opportunity to steadily, steadily bring these players through.
“One at a time, not bringing a four or five and then suddenly Chelsea are a mid-table team.”