Manchester City Transfer News: Treble winners reinforce midfield with Chelsea dynamo

Manchester City Transfer News: Treble winners reinforce midfield with Chelsea dynamo
Chelsea players (left to right) N'Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez, Ben Chillwell, Mateo Kovacic, Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Joao Felix line up before during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. Picture date: Wednesday April 12, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester City are on the verge of getting their first signing of the transfer window through the door after the club agreed a deal with Chelsea for one of their star midfielders. Croatian international, Mateo Kovačić, is set to make the move from London to Manchester after a deal worth £30m was struck between the two clubs.

The structure of the deal is said to be worth £25m up front with £5m of results-based add-ons to come later providing City continue picking up trophies with the Croatian in their ranks. It means that Chelsea have made a loss on the 29-year-old after they paid £40m for his services back in 2019.

Kovacic initially joined Chelsea on a loan deal in 2018 and despite some mixed performance under Maurizio Sarri in his debut season, the club sanctioned his permanent signing largely due to the fact they were under a transfer embargo during the summer of 2019.

He then went on to perform exceptionally under Frank Lampard during the Englishman’s tenure at Stamford Bridge and continued to shine under both Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. The highlight of his time at the club undoubtedly came in 2021 when he won the Champions League courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in Porto.

Why are Chelsea letting Kovacic leave?

Considering Kovacic has proven to be such an important player for Chelsea during his five years at Stamford Bridge, it is surprising on the face of it that the club have agreed to let him go anywhere, never mind to the best team in the Premier League.

However, the reality is, they had very little choice. For starters, Kovacic only has one year left on his deal at Stamford Bridge meaning that if they kept hold of him this summer then he would be available on a free transfer next summer. The Croatian had shown little interest in extending his stay at Chelsea so Todd Boehly made the decision to cash in while he still could.

Secondly, the club are in dire need of incoming cash to balance the books after their hefty spending spree last year. The club reportedly need to bring in at least £100m in sales to be able to start bringing players in again and the £30m for Kovacic will help towards that.

In addition to the sale of Kovacic, there are several other Chelsea players on the way out. Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly are all reportedly on the way to Saudi Arabia while Kai Havertz and Mason Mount could be joining Kovacic in making a move to a fellow Premier League club.

Why the move makes sense for Manchester City

For Manchester City, the move for Kovacic makes sense from almost every angle. Firstly, it isn’t a large transfer outlay in this day and age meaning they are getting a top-class midfielder in the prime of his career for a relatively low fee.

Secondly, with Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva potentially leaving the club this summer there is a need for an experienced midfielder within the squad. With Kovacic, the blow of losing one or both of those players won’t be felt as hard.

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