Chelsea have tied midfielder Mario Pasalic down to a new four-year contract after agreeing his loan move to Spartak Moscow for the 2017-18 season.
The Premier League champions signed the Croatian international midfielder from Hajduk Split as a prospect for the future in the summer 2014. However, the 22-year-old has since failed to make a single competitive appearance for the Blues, having instead spent the last three campaigns on loan at Elche, Monaco and AC Milan.
Pasalic was given a chance to prove himself in the pre-season tour in the Far East due to the shortage of options in Antonio Conte’s midfield.
Summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is currently injured while Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nemanja Matic have all left Stamford Bridge this summer to join Crystal Palace [on loan], Watford and Manchester United respectively.
However, Conte is still expected to add more players to his midfield before the end of the transfer window and has thus decided to loan Pasalic once again – after the midfielder committed his long-term future to Stamford Bridge by putting pen to paper on a new deal.
“Mario Pasalic has signed a new four-year deal and moved to Spartak Moscow on loan for the 2017/18 season,” the Chelsea have confirmed.
“The Croatian midfielder joined Chelsea in 2014 and featured in our recent pre-season friendly games against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. The 22-year-old will now get his first taste of Champions League group stage football with the reigning Russian champions.”
Reports in Spain in recent days has claimed that Real Betis were in the pole position to secure his services after last week club vice-chairman Lorenzo Serra Ferrer confirmed that they to lure Pasalic back to La Liga following his previous spell at Elche.
However, it has been said that Conte has convinced Pasalic to snub the move to Spain and join Spartak instead as the Russian club is managed by his former Juventus teammate Massimo Carrera, who was also his former assistant at the Serie A giants and at the national team.