Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid earlier this week for a fee of 45 million euros.
Mateo Kovacic arrived at Chelsea last summer on a loan spell which had an option to buy and under Maurizio Sarri, the 25-year-old featured in 32 Premier League games.
Chelsea released an official statement which read: “Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce we have completed the permanent signing of Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid.”
Kovacic said: ‘I really enjoyed my season on loan with Chelsea, I feel comfortable at the club and like London and the Premier League very much. I am very happy to be able to join permanently.
‘We had a successful year, winning the Europa League and I hope I can make a big contribution in the coming seasons.’
Many fans had a feeling that the Blues would be interested enough to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis but then the club were hit with a transfer ban and the plan reportedly went down the drain.
Then, to everyone’s surprise, Chelsea announced the signing of Mateo Kovacic despite a transfer ban which left many people perplexed.
Now though, Goal have reported that the transfer was possible due to a loophole in the embargo.
Goal reported: “Despite being banned by FIFA from signing players for the next 12 months until the 2020 summer window, Chelsea managed to acquire Kovacic permanently because of a loophole in their transfer suspension.
“The Croatian joined the club on loan for the duration of last season and the agreement between Chelsea and Real Madrid stipulated the Blues had the option to purchase Kovacic for €45m (£40m/$51m) before June 30, 2019.
“Because Kovacic’s loan deal between the two clubs was signed off on before Chelsea’s transfer ban was implemented in February, they can sign the player permanently without flouting the rules.”
Mateo Kovacic staying at the club will certainly give a lot of options in midfield to newly appointed boss Frank Lampard but it will also be a warning sign for Ross Barkley who was played in tandem with the Croatian last season.