Chelsea agree second midfield exit in one day after £30m Man City breakthrough; Romano rules out third departure

Mateo Kovacic, N'Golo Kante and Cesare Casadei

After confirming the exit of N’Golo Kante to Al Ittihad, Chelsea have agreed a fee with Manchester City in order to give up Mateo Kovacic too.

That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who has used his signature ‘here we go’ expression to confirm Kovacic is bound for the Etihad Stadium. Man City have agreed to sign the midfielder for a transfer fee of £30m – which Sky Sports says will be a £25m initial payment and £5m in add-ons.

Having already agreed personal terms with Kovacic, Man City now just need him to pass a medical – which will take place in the next few days – before he officially becomes theirs.

Romano has reiterated that City were the only club Kovacic wanted to join as he approached the final year of his contract with Chelsea.

Under pressure to offload players after Todd Boehly’s excessive spending in each of the past two transfer windows, Chelsea have now let City take Kovacic after his five-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Kovacic will be integrated into a squad that has just won the treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. There is also an expectation that City will target his Croatian compatriot Josko Gvardiol for their defence.

News of the pending sale comes on the same day Chelsea have announced that Kante will be leaving the club this summer.

Al Ittihad are taking the Frenchman to Saudi Arabia, where he will link up with his international colleague Karim Benzema after the striker’s move from Real Madrid.

Kante spent seven seasons with Chelsea after winning the Premier League with Leicester City. He lifted the same trophy in his debut year with the Blues, later adding medals from the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup to his cabinet.

Chelsea reinvested in their midfield in January by breaking the British transfer record to prise Enzo Fernandez away from Benfica.

They are also especially keen on adding Moises Caicedo to their midfield from Brighton this summer, but have had to deconstruct elements of their current department first.

Romano clarifies Casadei future at Chelsea

Another Chelsea midfielder facing an uncertain next step is Cesare Casadei.

The Italian midfielder arrived at Chelsea from Inter’s academy setup last summer, but is yet to make a senior appearance for the club. He ended the season on loan at Reading before starring at the under-20 World Cup, where he was the top scorer and best player.

Rumours in his homeland this week have suggested that Juventus want him on loan with an option to buy.

But according to Romano, there will be no buy option included in Casadei’s next Chelsea loan exit. Currently, the Blues have many bids on the table to take him away on a temporary basis, which they will soon mull over.

Romano has denied Juventus have held any talks about Casadei, since they are content with their own prospects.

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