Chelsea F.C. have completed the signing of midfielder Mario Pašalić from Prva HNL side Hajduk Split for an undisclosed fee.
The Croatia Under-21 international, who was included in Niko Kovač’s 30-man provisional World Cup squad, was a standout performer for the Split-based club last season, netting 11 goals in 30 league appearances.
“I am very happy because I am now a Chelsea player,” Pašalić told the club’s official website, chelseafc.com.
“I am very impressed by the training ground and I must thank everybody at Hajduk. This is now a new start in my career.
“I am a central midfielder, my favourite player is Frank Lampard, and so I am very happy to be a Chelsea player.”
The Mainz-born playmaker, the club’s third summer signing following the arrivals of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively, joined the Blues for their first pre-season training session on Wednesday.
In addition, Chelsea formally introduced Kurt Zouma, who joined from AS Saint-Étienne in a deal believed to be worth around £12 million in January before being allowed to finish the 2013/14 campaign at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
World Cup star Divock Origi has options
Lille OSC forward Divock Origi has confirmed that he has “offers from all over Europe” amid reports suggesting Liverpool are plotting a £10 million bid for the highly-coveted player.
The Belgium international, 19, was an integral part of the Belgium squad that reached the World Cup quarter-finals, relegating Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to the bench for his country’s final three matches.
Fresh speculation is also linking North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur with Origi, and understandably so.
“I myself am still thinking about it,” said Origi, who bagged five goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances, albeit just 12 starts, for Lille in 2013/14. “It is true that there are offers from all over Europe
“Now I have to look carefully where I will grow as a player and as a person. I think it will be clearer, within two weeks at the most.”
Arteta happy at Arsenal
The agent of Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, Inaki Ibanez, has insisted his client is happy at the Emirates Stadium despote ongoing rumours linking him with a summer move to Fiorentina.
Arteta, who joined the Gunners from Everton for £10 million in August 2011, served as the club’s captain when Thomas Vermaelen was not in the side last season.
The former Barcelona youth star, now 32, has just one year remaining on his current deal.
“I have never spoken with Fiorentina,” Ibanez said. “Mikel has one year more on his contract and he has no desire to go away from Arsenal.
“He’s fine there and he’s also the team’s captain. I have not spoken with any club.
“If he’d like to come to Fiorentina? No, we’re talking about Arsenal’s captain, with all due respect to Fiorentina, he is fine there and he does not want to leave.”
Arteta bagged two goals in 31 English Premier League appearances for the Gunners last term.