Cape Town - Chelsea have extended the contract of Mario Pasalic until 2022 before immediately sending him back on loan to Atalanta.
The 24-year-old midfielder impressed while on loan with the Serie A side last season and Chelsea are not yet ready to cash in as they believes he could still have a career at Stamford Bridge.
They are however willing to loan him to Atalanta for a second consecutive season, in the hope it will develop his game even further, Last season, the Croatia international represented the Italian side on 42 occasions, helping them secure their best Serie A finish of third, which means Champions League football is also on the cards.
He scored eight times from midfield and Atalanta were keen to get him back on board.
Pasalic joined Chelsea from Hajduk Split in 2014, before being sent out on loan to a host of clubs include Elche, Monaco, AC Milan, Spartak Moscow and Atalanta.
He has also played 10 times for the Croatia national side, featuring in their recent European Championship qualifying double-header against Wales and Tunisia.