Fabrizio Romano has reported that Mateo Kovacić is currently undergoing medical tests as new Manchester City player — first part of documents has been already signed. £25m plus £5m add-ons to Chelsea.
The fee is understood to be worth an initial £25m guaranteed plus £5m in performance-related add-ons. A formal announcement of Kovacic joining last season’s treble winners is expected soon.
Kovacic has been at Stamford Bridge since joining from Real Madrid – initially on loan – in the summer of 2018.
The Croatia international has won four major trophies during his time at Chelsea including his fourth Champions League in 2021 – while going on to make 221 appearances for the club.
The logic for Chelsea allowing Mateo Kovacic to exit Stamford Bridge – even to one of their Premier League rivals – is easy to understand, given he has just one year remaining on his contract and, at 29, presumably has limited interest in signing up for the rebuilding project in west London.
There will likely be a section of Chelsea supporters that will look at Kovacic’s record of four goals and 13 assists in 142 Premier League matches across five years and think receiving up to £30m for the midfielder is good business.
It’s true that Kovacic’s impact in the final third has been modest at best, while his reluctance to shoot from dangerous positions has always been a curiosity given his excellent technical ability.
But it’s also true that Kovacic was never signed to be an attacking, goal-scoring midfielder, as a total of 18 goals in eight years for his three previous clubs should have shown.
Instead, the Croatia international’s strengths lie at the heart of midfield. Since he arrived in the Premier League in the summer of 2018, Kovacic ranks fifth for both completed take-ons and passes per 90 among midfielders.
He excels at receiving the ball under pressure, moving upfield by beating the opponents’ press and linking the defence to the attack skills that are often overlooked due to his limited attacking output.
But it’s those skills that have likely endeared him to Manchester City, who follow Real Madrid and Inter Milan in adding their name to the glittering CV of Kovacic, who has already won 18 trophies including four Champions Leagues – during his career.