Chelsea will complete the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic ‘within hours’, according to a report in Marca.
The Croatian midfielder’s loan deal at Stamford Bridge expires on 30 June and once this tie to the West London club ends, they cannot sign him due to their transfer ban on players not currently registered to the club.
The Blues are not allowed to register new players for the next two windows under the FIFA-imposed ban, but have a loophole with the Croatian, who was already registered last season.
Marca claim the fee paid will be in the region of €45m, after a report from Gianluca Di Marzio initially broke the news saying that Madrid would be expecting a €50m move.
The 25-year-old made 51 first-team appearances for the Europa League winners since last summer’s loan deal, but there was no option to buy included in the deal.
It is now claimed that the central midfielder will definitely exit Los Blancos again this summer with the Blues hopeful on a deal, despite the exit of boss Maurizio Sarri – who admired the player.
Madrid signed the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder from Italian giants Inter in the summer of 2015 for €30m and are said to want significantly more than that sum in the event of a permanent departure.
Indeed, the Milanese giants are said to be waiting in the wings for the player and Madrid may value him in the region of €50m.
The Croat started only 37 La Liga games across three seasons in the Spanish capital with only 10 of those coming last season.