How did Chelsea purchase Kovacic despite its transfer ban? | Eurasia Diary -

12 November, Tuesday

How did Chelsea purchase Kovacic despite its transfer ban?

The Blues have announced a signing, but how did they get around the governing body's sanction?

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Chelsea have made their first purchase of the summer in Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic despite FIFA recently slapping a two-window transfer ban on the club due to its conduct regarding signing foreign minors.

The 25-year-old playmaker has joined the Blues from Real Madrid on a five-year contract after a €45 million (£40m/$51m) fee was agreed with the Spanish giants.

Kovacic's permanent move to London comes after he spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge under the club's former manager Maurizio Sarri.

Despite being banned by FIFA from signing players for the next 12 months until the 2020 summer window, Chelsea managed to acquire Kovacic permanently because of a loophole in their transfer suspension.

The Croatian joined the club on loan for the duration of last season and the agreement between Chelsea and Real Madrid stipulated the Blues had the option to purchase Kovacic for €45m (£40m/$51m) before June 30, 2019.

Because Kovacic's loan deal between the two clubs was signed off on before Chelsea's transfer ban was implemented in February, they can sign the player permanently without flouting the rules.

Last season at the club under Sarri, Kovacic made 51 appearances in all competitions as he helped the club to the Europa League title and a Premier League top-four finish.

Kovacic was technically purchased by Chelsea while they are without a manager, with club legend Frank Lampard set to be appointed in the role imminently.

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