Chelsea set for captures of young pair Pasalic and Calhanoglu
Chelsea, 4/1 to win the Premier League title, are looking to strengthen their future prospects by wrapping up a couple of early signings before the summer.
Hajduk Split midfielder Mario Pasalic, 19, is set to have a medical with the Blues next month ahead of a £1.6m transfer. Born in Germany to Croatian parents, he has one Under-21 cap for the latter country.
Pasalic signed a pre-contract agreement to join Chelsea this summer in January, and has been prolific from the middle of the park for Hajduk this season. He has scored 11 goals in 25 league outings.
Ivica Loncar, Pasalic’s agent, expects his client to be loaned out by Blues boss Jose Mourinho next term, possibly back to Croatian top-flight club Split.
“Mario would like to stay at Hajduk as long as possible,” he told a Croatian newspaper, “but the contract is signed and we must respect the desire of the club.
“There is a chance [he will stay at Split], but they are minimal. Mario will be in London at the end of May for a medical examination and then will know more about his future.
“[There are] several interested clubs from Italy, Germany and Spain, and it is possible that the first two weeks of preparation activity will be with Chelsea.”
The Blues are also preparing a reported £13m bid for Hamburg’s German-born Turkish attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu. Aged 20, he has scored 10 times in the Bundesliga this term but, despite two changes of coach, his team remain in relegation danger.
Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea are the 9/2 outsiders to lift the trophy they won two years ago again. Their next opponents in Europe’s elite club competition, Atletico Madrid, are also preparing a bid for Calhanoglu, according to reports in the Spanish press, if Hamburg lose German top-flight status.
Calhanoglu’s compatriot and Turkey national captain Arda Turan is already on the books at the Vicente Calderon, so that may hand Diego Simeone an advantage over Mourinho.