Real Madrid signed Mateo Kovacic upon the recommendation of Luka Modric, who claimed his worldwide colleague would win the Ballon d’Or in two years, reports AS.
Kovacic, who was a reported target of Liverpool and Barcelona, had four years left on his contract with Inter but opted to move to Madrid in a reported £25 million transfer deal and is Real Madrid’s fifth summer signing.
Kovacic was formally presented by Blancos president Florentino Perez, and posed for photographers on the Bernabeu pitch wearing his new No. 16 shirt.
At his presentation Kovacic said he had joined “the biggest club in the world”, adding that he hoped to “be at his best”, for his new club.
“Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world, I’m in no doubt about that”. I expect a lot of myself and all the team.
“He is not a typical, defensive midfielder – he offers quality”.
Do you think Kovacic is the midfielder Real needed?
Kovacic first met Rafa Benitez in Naples and said he was “delighted to be working with such a great coach”.
But it wasn’t until last month’s pre-season friendly between the two teams in Guangzhou, China, that the move finally began to accelerate, it has been claimed. I had no doubts.
“It has come true for me at just 21 years of age”. [Kovacic] is a young player, but with experience. He is a great player and i’m so happy to share locker room with him. “He doesn’t shy away from his responsibilities and that will make him a great player for Real Madrid”.
However, Inter coach Roberto Mancini admitted earlier this week that financial fair play pressures had forced the Serie A side into selling one of their prized assets.
“Welcome to your new home, welcome to Real Madrid”.