Manchester City have made a raid on Chelsea to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
City clinched the treble with victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10, but manager Pep Guardiola is not resting on his laurels.
He has moved to swell his midfield options, with Kovacic putting his name to a four-year contract.
“This is a brilliant move for me, and I cannot wait to get started with City,” Kovacic said.
“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.
“I still have plenty of learning and developing to do, and I know under Pep’s management I can become a better player, which is really exciting for me.
“My plan now is to rest for a few weeks before coming back to Manchester to prepare for the new season. I want to help this club stay at the top and win more trophies.”
City are well stocked in the midfield department, but there are doubts about the long-term futures of Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
Plus there is the prospect of going into the start of the 2023/24 Premier League without midfield star Kevin De Bruyne, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Inter.
Kovacic joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, and picked up Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup honours with The Blues.
He went into the summer with only one season remaining on his contract, and with no indication of a fresh deal being struck, Chelsea opted to cash in.
There was talk of interest from Bayern Munich, but the Croatia international has elected to remain in the Premier League.
City will kick off the defence of their Premier League title with a trip to Burnley on August 11.
Chelsea’s season begins with a home clash with Liverpool on August 13.
Source : Eurosport