Manchester City have completed the signing of midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea on a four-year contract, the treble winners revealed Tuesday.
ESPN reported earlier this month the two clubs had agreed a fee of £25 million ($32m) up front for the 29-year-old with another £5m ($6m) due in add-ons, and the Croatia midfielder will now join up with City’s squad ahead of the 2023-24 season.
“This is a brilliant move for me, and I cannot wait to get started with City,” Kovacic stated in Man City’s announcement.
“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.”
City boss Pep Guardiola has been keen to reinforce his midfield options after the club missed out on Jude Bellingham.
Bellingham joined Real Madrid this month, and with captain Ilkay Gundogan completing a free transfer to Barcelona on Monday.
“Mateo is an excellent footballer,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain said. “He can play as a 6 or an 8, has plenty of experience at top level clubs and he 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 always we were impressed whenever we watched him.”
Sources told ESPN earlier this month that Chelsea had hoped to agree to a deal closer to their initial £35m ($44m) asking price for Kovacic, but the west London club reduced their demands in order to complete the deal before June 30. The timing of the transfer was important to Chelsea as it permitted them to ratify the deal within the first full tax year, which helps the club to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Kovacic is the latest high-profile player to leave Chelsea as the club look to reshape their large squad for new head coach Mauricio Pochettino — N’Golo Kante has already left to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad.
Sources have also told ESPN that Arsenal have agreed a £65m ($83m) deal with Chelsea to sign forward Kai Havertz while Christian Pulisic, Edouard Mendy and Mason Mount are also likely to depart.