Chelsea have officially announced the loan signing of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovačić from Real Madrid in a deal that sees Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois join Los Blancos for a fee rumoured to be around £35 million.
Kovačić started his senior career with Dinamo Zagreb where he lifted two consecutive league and cup doubles between 2010 and 2012. Following this, he joined Inter Milan in 2013 for a fee believed to be around £8 million where made just under 100 appearances for the club. In 2015, Inter Milan were forced to sell the Crotian midfielder to Real Madrid for around £25 million due to Financial Fair Play regulations. Kovačić played a part in the side that won the La Liga in 2017 as well as three consecutive Champions League titles between 2015 and 2018.
In recent weeks, the 24-year-old had been very vocal about his desire for more game time with the Spanish giants, but a season-long loan away seems like the best move for all parties involved – well, except for Chelsea, to an extent.
As part of the deal, Kovačić will be able to play for Chelsea this season in both the Premier League and the Europa League but will return to the Spanish giants once the loan deal expires. During the negotiation stages of the Courtois transfer, Madrid prevented the inclusion of any type of purchase option within the loan deal.
At the moment, the Blues have not announced what number Kovačić will wear for the club.