Chelsea have until the end of the month to decide on the future of Mateo Kovacic, according to reports.
Well, according to The Evening Standard, Chelsea can sign Kovacic permanently this summer despite their transfer ban.
This is because the Croatian international is already registered as a Chelsea player having spent the season on loan at Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid are happy to sell to the Blues and want £50m for Kovacic, though one would have to assume they would be willing to negotiate on that sum given how poor he was last term.
The really important part however is this – the Blues must complete any potential deal for the midfielder before July 1, after which he will no longer be a Chelsea player and therefore no longer an exception to the transfer ban.
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It really doesn’t matter how poor Kovacic was last season, the Blues simply have to make this deal happen.
The 25 year-old has bounced around between Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea, never really making one his home, but on his day he is a truly special talent.
Stamford Bridge may not have seen much of that talent during his debut campaign with the club, but how many players struggle in their first Premier League season before finding their feet later? Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne to name two.
For too long Stamford Bridge has been dismissive and short-sighted with new signings, and that should not be the case for a man who has four league titles and four European medals to his name after the Europa League triumph, all at the tender age of just 25.
The Blues will be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek for most of the season after he suffered a ruptured achilles and they cannot bring in other players, so taking a gamble on Kovacic to replace the Englishman isn’t just advisable, it’s absolutely necessary.