After the departure of captain Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City announced on Tuesday that they had successfully finalized the transfer of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea to the club. Kovacic is a Croatian midfielder.
The clubs apparently agreed to an initial fee of £25 million ($32 million), with a potential £5 million in add-ons, and the treble champions announced that the 29-year-old player had signed a deal with them for a duration of four years.
After spending five years at Chelsea, where he won both the Champions League and the Europa League and made 221 appearances, Kovacic has decided to join Pep Guardiola’s side at Manchester City.
His presence at City compensates for the loss of Gundogan, who left the club on Monday to sign for Barcelona on a free transfer after having spent the previous seven years playing for City. He is City’s first signing of the transfer window.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I can’t wait to get started with City,” I said after announcing my transfer. Anyone who has seen this team play under Pep’s direction can attest to how talented they are. In my opinion, these are the very best that can be found everywhere.
Kovacic is quoted as saying, “The trophies they have won are obvious for all to see, but in addition to that, they are the best footballing side out there.”
Before joining Chelsea, Kovacic won the Champions League three times with Real Madrid, making him the only player in history to have won the tournament more than thrice. Kovacic now has four Champions League titles to his name.
The Croatian midfielder started his professional career with Dinamo Zagreb before moving on to Inter Milan. He has played 95 times for his country’s national team.
According to Txiki Begiristain, the director of football for the city, Kovacic is a versatile player.
“He is versatile enough to play either as a “six” or a “eight,” has a wealth of experience playing for top-tier clubs, and is familiar with the Premier League.
“It was a very simple decision to bring him to City because he has the tactical and technical qualities we are looking for in a midfielder,” he added. “He has the qualities we are looking for in a player.”