Kovacic completes permanent Chelsea switch

Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic has completed a permanent switch to Chelsea after impressing on loan from Real Madrid last season.

The Blues are banned from registering new signings for the next two transfer windows because FIFA found they had breached regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players aged under 18.

However, as Kovacic was already registered with the club having spent last term on loan at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have been able to sign the Croatia international permanently for a fee reported to be in the region of £40million.

The 25-year-old helped the Blues win the Europa League and reach the EFL Cup final, and he made 32 Premier League appearances as Chelsea finished third in Maurizio Sarri's one and only season in charge.

Sarri has since left for Juventus and is expected to be replaced by club great Frank Lampard after Derby County permitted him to miss pre-season training to continue talks with the Blues.

Kovacic, who spent three years at Madrid after moving from Inter, joins Christian Pulisic in arriving ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

They may be the only incomings at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, although Chelsea have lodged an appeal against their transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Kovacic's arrival comes after Chelsea confirmed Gonzalo Higuain's departure from the club.

The striker will return to Juventus after the Blues opted not to pursue a permanent deal or take an option to extend his loan for a further 12 months.