Chelsea FC recently renewed Mario Pasalic’s contract until 2022, only for the player to return to Atalanta on loan for a second season.

The 24-year-old penned a new contract with the Blues but Chelsea will ship him to Italy on loan. Last season Pasalic helped the Italian club clinched the third spot in the Serie A. It was the club’s highest league finish ever. In the Coppa Italia, The Atalanta were runners-up too.

The Croatian international has never played for the Blues and has been on loan to five different clubs. Chelsea acquired Pasalic in 2014 from the Hajduk Split. He had capped for the Croatian senior team 10 times. His most recent international exposure was a 2-1 win against Wales in the European Qualifier and a defeat in a friendly game versus Tunisia.

In related news, another Croatian international signed a permanent contract with the Blues. Mateo Kovacic will finally move to Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis. The former Real Madrid midfielder signed a five-year contract with Chelsea.

Kovacic was instrumental in helping the Blues win the Europa League in Baku and the second runner up finish in the Premier League.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Mateo proved what an accomplished player he is during his season on loan with us and we are delighted to welcome him to the club on a permanent basis.”

“He already possesses extensive experience at club and international level and we are sure he will be a big success with Chelsea over the next five years,” she added.

Last season, the 25-year-old Croatian made 51 appearances for then head coach Maurizio Sarri, 36 of which were starts. He played in the left of midfield and provided the passes to Eden Hazard. He was also one of the scorers in their 4-1 victory in the Europa League in Baku against Arsenal.