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Chelsea have officially announced a season loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
The 24-year-old Croatian international arrives with experience having featured regularly in Serie A, La Liga, the Champions League and at international level. He played five games during Croatia’s run to the World Cup final this summer.
Kovacic said: “I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea. 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, who moved as part of the deal that sent goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Madrid, will help manager Maurizio Sarri round out the squad as the “midfielder with different characteristics” he said he wanted earlier this week.
The move comes as part of a midfield overhaul for Chelsea, with Jorginho following Sarri from Napoli earlier this summer. It could also lead to the exit of Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was signed from Monaco a year ago but has been linked to a loan to AC Milan.