Hajduk Split’s Mario Pasalic signed for Chelsea with the minimum of fanfare in January and Jose Mourinho will loan him out next term for more experience despite an impressive season at home.
That’s according to Portuguese news outlet abola.pt, who suggest Braga may be one of a host of clubs across Europe’s more trendy divisions understood to be interested, along with Eintracht Frankfurt and Lazio.
Chelsea are due to round off a moderate campaign against already-demoted Cardiff, with Jose Mourinho’s men 10/3 to win in a match featuring under 2.5 goals next time out.
It’s a nice price given all but seven of the Blues’ 18 league away games this term have limboed the 2.5-strike bar, yet their lack of scoring potency is not understood to have convinced Mourinho to keep the 19-year-old German-born Croatian in west London next term.
Pasalic’s 11 goals for Hajduk in the Prva HNL represent an impressive return for a central midfielder, while he has also served up five assists for teammates in 2013/14 too.
It’s a return that reads impressively when compared to that of fellow Croatian whizz kid Alen Halilovic, who recently agreed to leave Dinamo Zagreb for Barcelona.
The latter has managed a more modest five goals and one assist in the same division this term.
A real box-to-box operator when required, Pasalic will inevitably draw comparisons with Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard.
Indeed, perusal of his YouTube highlights reel shows a man child with an aptitude for the kind of undetectable late runs which have yielded the West Ham academy graduate countless causes for celebration during his career.
Any club wishing to join the battle to land him on a temporary basis next season are likely to have to offer up a compelling plan for the midfielder’s continued progress.
This season Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers has already infuriated Chelsea with the limited use he has made of on-loan Blue Victor Moses.
Furthermore there is always the alternative that Pasalic could be farmed out to Vitesse, the Eredivisie club with a seeming hotline to the Stamford Bridge lending library.
It’s certainly not been a bad move for Brazilian prospect Lucas Piazon, who has hit 11 goals and eight assists in 24 starts for the Arnhem outfit this season.