Incoming Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has given the green light to the signing of Matteo Kovacic – in what could be the only signing for the Blues this summer.
Chelsea face the prospect of a two-window transfer ban, meaning they face the prospect of bringing in no new faces to Stamford Bridge between now and summer 2020.
While the Blues are still hoping that court action can overturn the ban, Lampard – who is expected to be confirmed as successor to Maurizio Sarri in the coming days – has given the go-ahead for Chelsea topush through a £45m swoop for Kovacic.
The Croatian midfielder moved to Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan last summer as part of the deal that took Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid. And Chelsea because the deal, signed last summer, contained a clause enabling the Premier League side to make the deal permanent this year, it is not excluded under the terms of their impending transfer ban.
Chelsea were last week given a deadline by Real to complete the deal and it seems they will take the Spaniards up on that option.
Chelsea also retain a similar option in the contract of striker Gonzalo Higuain, but respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Argentine will be sent back to parent club Juventus. It’s a different story, however, with Kovacic, with Di Marzio reporting they have decided to retain Kovacic’s services despite Real’s chunky £45million asking price.
Kovacic is the only signing new manager Lampard will be allowed to make and he is believed to have been consulted on whether he wanted to bring in the midfielder.
The 25-year-old made 32 appearances in the Premier League, becoming a mainstay of Sarri’s midfield. He also made 12 appearances during their successful Europa League campaign, though remained a fairly divisive figure among supporters.
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