Atalanta have exercised their option to sign Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic on a permanent deal ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Pasalic has spent the last two seasons on loan in Serie A, having moved to Chelsea from Hajduk Split in 2014.
A statement released on Chelsea’s official club website read: “We thank Mario for his service to the club and wish him the best of luck for the next chapter of his career.”
Chelsea paid £3m to bring Pasalic to Stamford Bridge six years ago, and have turned a tidy profit despite the Croatian international failing to make a single appearance for the club.
The Blues have pocketed €15m (£13.4m) for the 25-year-old – an option the two clubs had negotiated back in December 2019.
Pasalic had signed a new deal with Chelsea just last summer to keep him at the club until 2022.
Since signing for Chelsea in 2014, Pasalic has spent each of his six seasons at the club out on loan. He spent a year at Elche, Monaco, Milan and Spartak Moscow, prior to his two-year spell with Atalanta.
It is at Atalanta where the midfielder has enjoyed his most fruitful loan spell.
Pasalic has featured 75 times for the club, scoring 15 goals and playing an instrumental role in Atalanta’s remarkable success over the past two seasons.
During his first year in Italy, Atalanta recorded their highest ever league position, finishing third in Serie A, and were beaten Coppa Italia finalists.
That was enough to secure Champions League football for the first time in the club’s history, and Atalanta have enjoyed an astonishing run in this season’s competition.
They dramatically qualified for the last 16 during the last round of group stage fixtures, before booking their place in the quarter finals with an 8-4 aggregate victory over two pulsating legs against Valencia.