Mateo Kovacic claims he is ‘excited’ to join Chelsea on a season-long loan but is predicting a ‘tough’ start to life in England.
The 24-year-old midfielder completed a switch from Inter Milan to Real Madrid back in 2015 but a lack of playing time at the Bernabeu meant he was desperate for a temporary move ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. Kovacic had his heart set on a move to Stamford Bridge when Chelsea’s interest became known, with Maurizio Sarri desperate to land another midfielder following Jorginho’s arrival.
‘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,’ the Croatian told Chelsea’s official website.
‘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.’
Club director director Marina Granovskaia believes Kovacic is the ‘perfect fit’ for Sarri as Chelsea’s Premier League opener with Huddersfield.
‘We are very happy to welcome Mateo to the Chelsea family,’ she said.
‘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 joined the Blues once Thibaut Courtois’ move to Madrid was confirmed and Julen Lopetegui will look to bring in a replacement for the Croatian before the transfer window closes. Asked about Chelsea’s interest in Kovacic earlier this week, Real Madrid’s boss responded: ‘It’s true that Kovacic has expressed his desire to leave.
‘I wanted him to stay as he is important for us but it is true that nothing is 100 per cent yet. ‘There is no deal done for him yet. If he leaves we will have to find another player of his level and we well look for solutions.’
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