A report claims the transfer of Cole Palmer from Manchester City to Chelsea was helped significantly by Mateo Kovacic moving in the opposite direction.
Palmer, 21, had been with City all his career after joining the youth ranks at the age of eight. He made his first-team debut in September 2020 as the Citizens beat Burnley 3-0 in the EFL Cup. The England Under-21 ace had to wait another year before enjoying his first Premier League outing.
And he made 19 league appearances in total for Pep Guardiola’s side, with just three starts.
Despite a lack of experience at the top level, Chelsea paid around £40m for the youngster in the summer.
That sum raised a few eyebrows as did the fact City had let one of their brightest prospects leave for a rival.
New Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino was clearly a bag fan of the starlet, with Todd Boehly backing the Argentinian in the transfer market.
And he got his man, with Kovacic leaving Stamford Bridge to join the champions.
And a report now suggests it was this deal which smoothed the way for Palmer to move to west London.
Palmer deal helped by clubs cordial relations
The summer saw many huge-money deals completed throughout the Premier League.
Chelsea initially sold players to try and boost their coffers. But, once those exits had been sealed, they set about bolstering the squad.
The likes of Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi and Nicolas Jackson were recruited.
However, it was the addition of Palmer that turned the most heads.
Despite a lack of first-team game time, he was highly thought of at the Etihad.
But Guardiola let him leave when it seemed as though he was one for the future.
The Telegraph now claim that Kovacic’s £30m move to Manchester City helped the transfer go through successfully.
Chelsea’s decision to let the Croatia international join the treble winners is said to have ‘strengthened relations’ between the clubs, according to the report.
This meant there were no issues with Palmer leaving a club that had invested so much time in him. And it has certainly proved to be a positive move to date.
The Manchester-born ace has started five games among eight top-flight appearances, scoring three goals and registering two assists.
And he has already become an important member of the side despite the illustrious names in the squad.
The forward has taken it all in his stride and has even been touted for an England call-up sooner rather than later.
Whether or not it proves to be a huge mistake by City to let him go only time will tell.