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Chelsea sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid on permanent deal

Mateo Kovacic
Image: Mateo Kovacic was allowed to join Chelsea despite their transfer ban

Chelsea have signed midfielder Mateo Kovacic on a five-year deal from Real Madrid.

The Blues have been permitted to sign the Croatian midfielder despite their transfer ban because he was still registered to the club until the end of June following his loan spell.

"I really enjoyed my season on loan with Chelsea, I feel comfortable at the club and like London and the Premier League very much. I am very happy to be able to join permanently," Kovacic said.

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"We had a successful year, winning the Europa League and I hope I can make a big contribution in the coming seasons."

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Despite a transfer ban, how have Chelsea managed to sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid?

Kovacic's loan spell at Stamford Bridge expired on June 30 so the London club needed to finalise the permanent deal before then.

It is understood Chelsea agreed a fee of 45 million euros (£40.25m) with Real.

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A Real statement read: "The club wants to thank Kovacic for all these years of dedication, professionalism and exemplary behaviour, and wishes him good luck in his new stage."

Kovacic was a key member of the Europa League winning squad and the 25-year-old also made 32 appearances in the Premier League.

Romelu Lukaku tussles with Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic
Image: Romelu Lukaku tussles with Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic

The serious injury suffered by Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the end of last season meant Chelsea would have been short of options in midfield if Kovacic had not been retained.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: "Mateo proved what an accomplished player he is during his season on loan with us and we are delighted to welcome him to the club on a permanent basis.

"He already possesses extensive experience at club and international level and we are sure he will be a big success with Chelsea over the next five years."

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