Atalanta complete signing of €20m-rated Chelsea playmaker

Atalanta have taken up the option to sign Mario Pasalic permanently from Chelsea for €15m after impressing on loan at the Italian club. Croatia international signed for Blues way back in 2014 but has never played a single game for the club, going out on loan to Elche, Monaco, Milan, Spartak Moscow and spending the last two campaigns at Atalanta.

Chelsea paid nearly £3m to Hajduk Split for him in 2014, so will now make a decent come back on that investment six years later. Mario, who has earned 12 caps for his country, has played 74 times for Atalanta since arriving in 2018, scoring 15 goals.

Pasalic signed a new Chelsea deal as recently as last summer, before immediately returning to Atalanta for the second campaign on loan in Italy. That deal at Chelsea runs until 2022 and guaranteed that Blues would receive a fee for the playmaker if the La Dea wanted to keep hold of him, which has come to pass.

Serie A is ready to come back from the covid-19 hiatus the same week as the Premier League springs back into action, with the Italian club fourth in the table and hoping to secure the UCL place for the second consecutive campaign.

The transfer fee for the 25-year-old midfielder will be a welcome boost to the budget at London club, with boss Frank Lampard hoping to add to his squad this summer, but the covid pandemic causing huge economic uncertainty in the sport.

The London giants have been linked with big-money moves for the likes of Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell but splashing the cash will be difficult given the current climate.