Mateo Kovacic hoping to play big part


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Mateo Kovacic says he is “very happy” at Chelsea and wants to make a “big contribution” over the coming years after completing his permanent move from Real Madrid.

Croatia international Kovacic initially moved to Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan deal last summer and he was a regular first-team fixture, making 51 appearances in all competitions.

The 25-year-old midfielder helped the Blues finish third in the Premier League and win the Europa League in May, beating English rivals Arsenal 4-1 in the final in Baku. With Maurizio Sarri leaving Chelsea this summer to take over at Juventus, it was unclear whether Kovacic would be signed permanently or if he would be sent back to parent club Madrid.

However, the Croatian will be staying in London after penning a five-year contract and he is looking forward to helping the club progress.

Kovacic told the club’s official website: “I really enjoyed my season on loan with Chelsea, I feel comfortable at the club and like London and the Premier League very much. I am very happy to be able to join permanently.

“We had a successful year, winning the Europa League and I hope I can make a big contribution in the coming seasons.”

Chelsea, who are 21.00 to win the Premier League, are expected to announce the arrival of former midfielder Frank Lampard as their new manager in the comings.

The ex-England international’s first league game in charge will be against Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 11. The Blues are 3.25 to claim the spoils, a draw is priced at 3.40 while the Red Devils are 2.25 favourites.

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