With the current international break games almost at an end now, this week has seen a steady uptick in transfer rumours and it is now being reported that reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have agreed a deal in principle for Chelsea’s Croatian midfielder, Mateo Kovacic.
The 29 year old 95 capped international player will reportedly shortly complete an initial £25 million move to the Etihad Stadium, and that there will be a further £5 million in potential add ons.
Kovacic has great Premier League experience now having arrived at Stamford Bridge initially on a loan deal back in the 2018/19 campaign, and following his first 51 appearances across all competitions that year, having made the move from Real Madrid permanent that summer for £40 million, he has gone on to add an additional 161 showings to his tally and his arrival could well add to the sale of Manchester City tickets as we again defend the title next season.
Coming in with that experience of the English top flight should more than help him offset the clear loss for Pep Guardiola that Ilkay Gundogan’s departure will be, with it now having been confirmed that the German international will make the move to Spanish giants Barcelona as a free agent when his contract naturally expires this summer.
His immense international experience will be an additional bonus for City as he looks to settle in and adjust to life at a club that operates wildly differently from Chelsea given the way they have lurched and changed managers in more recent times.
From City’s perspective, we have picked ourselves up a bit of a bargain here as ESPN have claimed, on top of a deal being agreed in principle, that sources have confirmed to them that Chelsea were originally hoping to secure a deal that valued Kovacic at around the £35 million mark so they could maximise the financial element, to help offset their own recent heavy spending following the takeover by Todd Boehly.
However, in an effort to ensure that the deal goes through by June 30, ergo it then falls under the first full tax year and will better help Chelsea comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, we were able to negotiate a slightly better fee in our favour. No one likes to do a potential opponent any favours, but after their recent splurging the sale of football tickets will not get them out of the hole many fans feel they have dug for themselves.
With us knowing Gundogan was likely to leave, despite director Txiki Begiristan’s best efforts, and having lost out to Real Madrid in the chase for England talent Jude Bellingham, Kovacic’s capture certain further shores up the midfield for the year ahead, but fans will certainly be hoping the news is better when it comes to the speculation surrounding Bernardo Silva’s own future now with reported interest in him from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, although he does remain under contract until the summer of 2025.
We will have to see what the remainder of the summer brings when it comes to any other deals that might be in the pipeline.
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