Mateo Kovacic, one of Europe's best young players, has signed with Real Madrid, the team announced Tuesday.
Kovacic, 21, signed a six-year, €35 million contract with Madrid after Inter Milan agreed to Madrid's request for his release.
A midfielder from Croatia, Kovacic has failed to maintain a starting role. Barcelona player Luis Suarez has described his inconsistency to lack of maturity, and thinks Inter will regret letting him get away too soon, as he believes they also did with Andrea Pirlo, who now plays for New York City FC and the Italian national team.
“Mateo had to become the focal point of Inter's future, and when you saw him play, you could tell he was on another level compared to the others,” Suarez said, according to ESPN. “The comparison with Pirlo is apt. Even Andrea left because the club did not have the patience to wait for him to mature, and then he became the player everyone knew he would. Kovacic has the quality to become the new Pirlo.”
Kovacic will be presented wearing a Madrid jersey for the first time on Wednesday after undergoing a medical.
- Erin Flynn