Reports: Chelsea Reach Permanent Mateo Kovacic Agreement with Real Madrid

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2019

Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic celebrates after his team's 4-1 win in the Europa League Final soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Olympic stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press

Chelsea and Real Madrid have reportedly reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Mateo Kovacic. 

Sky Sports reported the move will be allowed despite the Blues' transfer ban:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

Chelsea have reached agreement with Real Madrid over the permanent transfer of on-loan midfielder Mateo Kovacic, which would be allowed despite the Blues' transfer ban

Per ESPN FC's Liam Twomey, the deal for the on-loan midfielder could be worth up to €50 million when all bonuses are included. Chelsea can't register any new players because of their ban, but Kovacic was already registered last year as a loanee.

The 25-year-old started 21 Premier League matches last season, with mixed results under manager Maurizio Sarri. While his long-term future at Stamford Bridge was in doubt for much of the campaign, Ruben Loftus-Cheek's Achilles injury in May convinced the Blues to make the loan permanent, per Twomey.

Not everyone is convinced this is the right move for the club:

Adam Crafton @AdamCrafton_

Do Chelsea really not have a better talent in their loan farm or academy than the 6/10, subbed on 62 mins kovacic...

Per sports writer Samuel Marsden, Los Blancos are making good money selling midfielders they had no plans for:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Madrid getting around €90m for Kovacic and Llorente https://t.co/Zv9jh31NSP https://t.co/BfkTWV6eTa

Kovacic moved to the Spanish capital in 2015, and it was seen as an odd transfer, as he was coming off a mediocre season in Italy and Real had plenty of talent in midfield, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric at the peak of their powers.

Football writer Aleksandar Holiga didn't like the fit at all:

Aleksandar Holiga @AlexHoliga

Kovačić to Real Madrid doesn't make any sense for the club or the player. They don't need him, he's not good enough for them and won't play.

The Croatia international won three UEFA Champions League trophies and a La Liga title with Real but was never more than a depth player. His best campaign with the club was the 2016-17 season, when he made 19 starts in La Liga.

While the reported €50 million fee is steep, Chelsea had limited options in the transfer market because of their ban. They already know Kovacic's fit at Stamford Bridge, and with Loftus-Cheek set to start the season on the sidelines, the Blues needed to add to their options.

Matt Law of the Telegraph believes the Croat will improve in his second year in the Premier League:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Given the transfer ban and Ruben Loftus-Cheek's long-term injury, signing Kovacic makes good sense for Chelsea. He's 25 and one would imagine will be better for having a PL season under his belt.

His strong showing in the 4-1 UEFA Europa League final win over Arsenal, arguably his best of the season, should give fans hope he will live up to his transfer fee in the coming campaign.


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