News this morning brings us reports that Chelsea are close to securing the signature of 18 year-old Croatian midfielder Mario Pašalić from Hajduk Split.
A report on the club’s offiical website confirmed that German-born Pašalić is departing Antalya in Turkey today for London, where he will seal a move to The Blues, who have won the race for a €3m transfer ahead of the likes of Lazio.
The club’s statement reads:
“Mario Pasalic this morning, accompanied by the club’s team manager Kresimir Mikulandre and spokesman Ante Bilic, left the Kremlin Palace hotel and Hajduk’s training camp in Antalya, and headed for London.”
Whilst Dalmacija News went a step further and offered up more detail on the transfer:
“Mario Pašalić is not going to Lazio, but to Chelsea. The London club visited Hajduk President Marina Brbić in Milan, and a big change of plan followed because it seems that Lazio’s final offer did not meet €2m (reportedly €1.7m). There was a slightly higher bid from Chelsea, and their advantage is that they would be able to pay immediately, and it is even possible that the player returns to Hajduk on loan.”
Pašalić has little top-flight experience but does have two goals against fierce rivals Dinamo to his name, whilst he was also named in the IBWM top 100 young players to watch in 2014. If the reports are accurate, he is set to finish this season in Croatia, and may then join Vitesse next summer, or at the very least move into a more competitive league for the next stage of his development. Other reports suggest he may go to the Eredivisie immediately, with NAC Breda also floated as a destination due to their coaching staff being of Serbian and Bosnian origin (the same reasoning behind loaning fellow Croatian Stipe Perica to them back in August).
For more on this transfer story and any further deals involving Chelsea’s developmental players before the end of the transfer window, keep it here at TheChels.net or follow @chelseayouth on Twitter.