- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid acquired Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan on Tuesday in an effort to strengthen its already talented midfield with the Spanish league 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.

The 21-year-old Kovacic 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.

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