Chelsea signs Kovacic permanently despite transfer ban

Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic on a permanent basis from Real Madrid.

The Blues are currently faced with a two-window transfer ban but they are able to recruit players who are on loan at the club as they have already been registered with FIFA.

Real Madrid were thought to be demanding £44million for the Croatian playmaker, who joined the club on loan from the Spanish giants last summer.

But, according to The Telegraph, the Blues have now agreed terms with Kovacic’s parent club to ensure he remains at the club beyond his present loan agreement.

Kovacic was well used by Maurizio Sarri, making 51 appearances as the club secured qualification for the Champions League with a third-place finish in the Premier League and then triumphed over Arsenal in the Europa League final.

The club were faced with a deadline of June 30 to secure Kovacic permanently, as beyond that date his loan would have expired, according to Diario AS.

But the agreement means the midfielder could be become the first official signing of the Frank Lampard era, as the Blues are also close to appointing the Derby County boss as a replacement for Sarri.

Lampard also faces a decision over the futures of full-backs Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta, who are both open to moves away from Stamford Bridge.

Other than Kovacic, Chelsea have Christian Pulisic arriving this summer as the American forward’s signing was completed in January, despite him finishing the season at Borussia Dortmund.

Kovacic’s sale means Real have recouped some much-needed cash after signing Eden Hazard from Chelsea in a deal worth up to £130m, The Telegraph reports.