Chelsea have confirmed the loan signing of Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, in a loan deal that was linked to the move that will see goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois move in the other direction.
The Blues agreed to sell Courtois to Real Madrid on the condition that they could sign Croatia World Cup star Kovacic, with the deal confirmed by Chelsea on Thursday morning.
“I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea,” declared Kovacic. “It is an amazing feeling. I will try to do my best for this club. It is a new league for me, the beginning is always tough but I am sure the coach and my new team-mates will help me and I am looking forward to a great season.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “We are very happy to welcome Mateo to the Chelsea family. He is a perfect fit for us this season, his style is well suited to how Maurizio wants to play and we are sure he will prove to be a valuable asset for the club.”
Kovacic struggled to secure a regular place in the Real Madrid line-up last season and was keen to move on this summer, with Chelsea securing the services of a player whose stock rose during Croatia’s run to the World Cup final last month.
Courtois is set to be confirmed as a Real Madrid player imminently, with Chelsea paying a world record fee for a keeper as they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for over £71m on Wednesday.