How Kovacic went from £80m-rated to loanee this summer

Thibaut Courtois’ Chelsea departure to join Real Madrid was on the cards all summer. But it looks set to finally be completed at around midday today.

With the Belgian even missing training to force through his move, Chelsea’s hopes of salvaging a respectable end of the bargain looked bleak.

However, World Cup finalist Mateo Kovacic will now be involved in the deal. He will move the other way on a season-long loan – which represents an outstanding coup.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – JULY 15: Belgian soccer team player Thibaut Courtois celebrate on the balcony of the city hall at the Brussels’ Grand Place, after taking the third place in the World Cup 2018 on July 15, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Yves Herman/Royal Belgium Pool/Getty Images)

£80m Quoted Price

Not least because, last month Real Madrid reportedly quoted Manchester City £80m to land the Croatian.

WAYNE ROONEY TO EVERTON IS A JOKE.

That seems steep, but Real Madrid is exceptionally good at bumping the value of even their unwanted players.

On top of that, Kovacic just enjoyed a strong World Cup and as the Harry Maguire saga proves, performing well on the biggest stage of all can push a player’s transfer value through the roof.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Harry Maguire during the Leicester City training session at Belvoir Drive Training Complex on August 06, 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

All of that considered, getting Kovacic on a loan deal, represents a very solid piece of business from Chelsea.

Certainly, Maurizio Sarri wants to introduce a more technical style of play at Stamford Bridge; he just can’t do that without a different profile of player.

With Kovacic and Jorginho, Sarri has given himself that and hasn’t broken the bank completely.

With their backs against the wall, Chelsea has got an outstanding deal on Kovacic.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.