Manchester City have finalised their first signing of the 2023 summer transfer window, as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano on Wednesday.
The Premier League champions have prioritised the arrival of a new midfielder this summer, largely as they brace themselves for exits from within their current first-team set-up in the coming days and weeks.
Ilkay Gundogan is still yet to decide on his future with his existing Manchester City contract expiring at the end of the month, while Bernardo Silva is understood to still be exploring possible avenues to leave the Etihad Stadium.
As such, and following a failed pursuit of the now Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, City officials have focussed their attentions on the signing of Chelsea and Croatia star Mateo Kovacic – with a deal now having been reached for the 29-year-old.
That is according to Fabrizio Romano on Wednesday, who reports that Mateo Kovacić will now join Manchester City from Chelsea, after a fee was agreed between the two clubs.
It is reported that Manchester City will pay a guaranteed transfer fee of £25 million to Chelsea, with a further £5 million to also be included in add-ons which will be activated if/when Pep Guardiola’s side win titles – as opposed to being dependent on the player’s performances.
Personal terms between Manchester City and the Croatia international were agreed two weeks ago, after the player himself only wanted to join the Etihad project despite interest from the likes of Bayern Munich, while medicals will take place in the coming days.
City are now expected to press on with their summer transfer business, turning their attentions to another Croatia international as they pursue a deal for RB Leipzig central defender, Josko Gvardiola.
The 21-year-old is viewed as the ideal successor to Aymeric Laporte at Manchester City, with the Spaniard widely expected to bring an end to his five-year stay at the club, after joining from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.
Laporte struggled for game-time throughout the previous season, and in order to maintain his position as one of the most widely respected defenders in the game, is understood to be exploring his options.
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