Chelsea have agreed a fee of £40.3 million ($51m/€45m) with Real Madrid to secure Mateo Kovacic’s long-term future at the club.
The Blues have waited until the last minute to finalise a deal for Kovacic as the deadline to complete a deal was earmarked for June 30, but can now prepare for serious contract talks.
This comes after Derby County granted permission to Chelsea to open discussions with Frank Lampard about the club manager’s role, with the former Blues star expected to return to west London to replace Maurizio Sarri.
Kovacic’s deal can go through despite FIFA imposing a two-window transfer ban on signing senior players in February because Chelsea already held registration documents from his loan spell at the club last season.
The transfer sanctions are likely to remain in place after the club decided against appealing for provisional measures to Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to freeze the ban.