Mateo Kovacic fights for the ball during Chelsea's 2021 Club World Cup semi-final with Al Hilal.

‘They are the best’: Kovacic is delighted with Chelsea’s move to Manchester City – The Guardian

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea on a four-year deal. The three-time winners have agreed a fee of £25 million plus £5 million in performance-related add-ons.

“This is a brilliant move for me and I can’t wait to get started at City,” Kovacic said in a club statement. “Anyone who has watched this team under Pep [Guardiola] know how good they are – to me they are the best in the world. The trophies they have won are plain for all to see, but they are also the best football team there is.

“Joining this squad is really a dream for any footballer. I still have a lot to learn and develop and I know that under Pep’s guidance I can become a better player.”

The 29-year-old is City’s first signing since the club lifted the FA Cup and Premier League title before completing a rare treble by also winning the Champions League.

Kovacic was first loaned from Real Madrid in 2018-19 before completing a permanent move and signing a five-year contract.

He helped the West London side to the Champions League title in 2020-21, the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Club in 2021, as well as the Europa League in 2018-19.

Kovacic started his career with Dinamo Zagreb before signing for Internazionale in January 2013. In the summer of 2015 he made the switch to Real.

Kovacic made his debut for Croatia in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia in March 2013 and has gone on to earn nearly 100 caps for his country, helping Croatia to second place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and third in 2022 in Qatar .

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“Mateo is an excellent footballer,” said City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain. “He can play like a six or an eight, has a lot of experience at top clubs and he understands the Premier League. It was a very easy decision to bring him to City because he has the tactical and technical qualities that we look for in a midfielder .

“He’s someone we’ve followed for a long time and we’ve always been in awe when we watch him. I’m glad he’s here. This is a great asset to this club and I’m really excited to see what he can do do with Pep and the rest of our backroom team.

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