MADRID — Real Madrid acquired Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan on Tuesday in an effort to strengthen its already talented midfield with the La Liga (Spanish first division) season about to start.
The Spanish club said Kovacic had agreed to sign a six-year contract. He will be presented at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday.
Kovacic, 21, played for Inter for the past two seasons, scoring eight goals last year. He will join an already crowded squad and be united with Croatia teammate Luka Modric.
Kovacic is expected to play a reserve’s role, at least this season, under coach Rafa Benitez.
Madrid’s first-year coach will add Kovacic to a large group of midfielders that includes Modric, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Francisco “Isco” Alarcon, Casemiro, Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi.
Before playing in Italy, Kovacic helped Dinamo Zagreb win two leagues and two cups in Croatia.
Madrid, which begins the season at Sporting Gijon on Sunday, did not reveal the financial details of the transfer.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jun 12, 2014; Sao Paulo, BRAZIL; Brazil forward Neymar (10) during the match against Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic (20) in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians. Brazil defeated Croatia 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports