Mateo Kovacic has joined Manchester City from Chelsea for an initial fee of £25m.

The 29-year-old had just a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and is viewed by many as a direct replacement of Ilkay Gundogan, whose seven-year stay at the Etihad officially ends on Friday before he moves to Barcelona. 

Speaking to City's official media channels after signing a four-year contract, Kovacic said: "This is a brilliant move for me, and I cannot wait to get started with City.

"Anyone who has watched this team under Pep knows how good they are. For me, they are the best in the world.


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"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 director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "Mateo is an excellent footballer. He can play as a 6 or an 8, has plenty of experience at top-level clubs and he understands the Premier League.

"It was a very simple decision to bring him to City because he has the tactical and technical qualities we are looking for in a midfielder.

"He is someone we have monitored for a very long time and we were impressed whenever we watched him.

"I am delighted he is here. This is a great signing for this club, and I am very excited to watch what he can do with Pep and the rest of our backroom team."

During his time at Chelsea, Kovacic made a total of 221 appearances in five seasons, winning a Champions League, a Europa League, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.  

However, the Croatia international's last league title came six years ago with Real Madrid, while Kovacic has since tasted domestic cup heartbreak in England four times, losing the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals twice each - and failing to win either competition with the Blues. 

Kovacic's supreme ball-carrying ability, perceptive passing and strong tackling were no doubt qualities that caught Pep Guardiola's eye and were traits that saw Gundogan endear himself to the City faithful. 

The first competitive game for Kovacic in a City shirt will be on 6 August as the Premier League and FA Cup winners play league runners-up Arsenal at Wembley in the Community Shield.