Chelsea confirm signing of World Cup finalist on loan

Chelsea have confirmed that they have signed Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan as part of the agreement which has witnessed Thibaut Courtois join Real Madrid on a permanent basis. The Croatia international has played a back-up role during his three seasons at the Bernabeu but he has the opportunity to earn regular gametime having made the switch to west London.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Kovacic said: “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. 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.”

Kovacic has been regarded highly since his time with Dinamo Zagreb and this has helped him ply his trade for one of the most successful clubs in the world. Nevertheless, the reduced gametime had become a concern and the European champions have now allowed him to join the Blues on a temporary basis for the campaign.

The 24-year-old arrives at Stamford Bridge after his participation for Croatia at the summer World Cup where the nation reached all the way to the final before losing to France. Kovacic could not command a starting role, barring the one game against Iceland but he was nevertheless a valuable performer off the bench.

At Stamford Bridge, two of the three midfield positions appear sorted with N’Golo Kante and summer signing Jorginho making the pitch and Kovacic may potentially tussle with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley for a regular starting place this term. Chelsea begin their Premier League season with an away trip to Huddersfield Town before hosting Arsenal in the London derby in the weekend after.