Manchester City have completed the signing of Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
The Croatian midfielder joins City on a four-year deal reportedly worth £25 million plus a reported £5 million on add-ons.
The 29-year-old becomes Man City’s first summer signing and leaves Chelsea having won the Champions League and Europa League trophies. Kovacic spent five years in Stamford Bridge, making 211 appearances for the club and scoring six goals.
The Croatian international will wear the No 8 shirt recently vacated by Ilkay Gundogan, who has joined Barcelona. He is also tipped to replace the outgoing midfielder at the centre of the park.
Speaking after completing his move, Kovacic was full of praise for the club and their manager, Pep Guardiola.
“This is a brilliant move for me, and I cannot wait to get started with City,” he said.
“Anyone who has watched this team under Pep knows how good they are – for me, they are the best in the world. The trophies they have won are clear for all to see, but they are also the best footballing side out there.
“To be joining this squad really is a dream for any footballer. I still have plenty of learning and developing to do, and I know under Pep’s management, I can become a better player, which is really exciting for me.
“My plan now is to rest for a few weeks before coming back to Manchester to prepare for the new season. I want to help this club stay at the top and win more trophies.”
He's here! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/zuyfLJLTvb
— Manchester City (@ManCity) June 27, 2023
Manchester City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, also spoke highly of Kovacic’s technical ability, revealing that the club had long held an interest in the player.
“Mateo is an excellent footballer,” Begiristain said.
“He can play as a 6 or an 8, has plenty of experience at top-level clubs, and understands 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 is someone we have monitored for a very long time, and we were always impressed whenever we watched him.
“I am delighted he is here. This is a great signing for this club, and I am very excited to watch what he can do with Pep and the rest of our backroom team.”
Kovacic is not expected to be City’s last signing this summer, with Pep Guardiola’s side also interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol and West Ham captain Declan Rice.