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Real Madrid snap up Serb starlet Jovic in transfer coup

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 14, 2019 Eintracht Frankfurt’s Serbian forward Luka Jovic controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg football match Inter Milan vs Eintracht Frankfurt at the San Siro stadium in Milan. – Real Madrid said on June 4, 2019 they have signed Serbia striker Luka Jovic from German side Eintracht Frankfurt on a six-year deal for an undisclosed fee. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

Real Madrid said Tuesday they have signed 21-year-old Serbia striker Luka Jovic from German side Eintracht Frankfurt on a six-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

“Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt have agreed on the transfer of Luka Jovic, subject to a medical,” Real said in a statement.

“The player will be tied to the club for the next six seasons, until the 30th of June 2025,” it added.

Jovic scored 27 goals in all competitions this season, helping Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-finals and seventh place in the Bundesliga. He also made four appearances for Serbia, scoring one goal.

His dazzling form put him on the radar of Europe’s top clubs, with Spanish media quoting a price tag of 60 million euros ($67 million) while German media said Real will have paid out 70 million euros.

Frankfurt’s sporting director Fredi Bobic disclosed no financial details but suggested the size of the Madrid offer was just too big to resist.

“In sporting terms, Luka Jovic is a big loss for us,” he said in a statement.

“It was clear that we would not be able to turn down offers of a certain size.”

He said the deal was good for the German club who originally signed Jovic on a two-year loan from Portuguese club Benfica and took up an option for a permanent move in April after Barcelona showed interest in the young star.

“He has the best perspectives for a brilliant career. We are proud to have helped him on his way,” Bobic said.

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In the statement, Real highlighted his power, technical ability and prowess as a marksman.

The Serb who began his career at Red Star Belgrade finished second top scorer in the Europa League, scoring 10 goals, one less than Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud. The Bundesliga club were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals.

In the Bundesliga, Jovic was on target with 17 goals, third in the league rankings along with Kai Havertz of Leverkusen and Marco Reus of Dortmund.

Jovic’s signature comes ahead of the much-anticipated move to the Santiago Bernabeu of Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who has long been linked to Real and who indicated after the Europa League final victory over Arsenal that he had played his last game for the Londoners.

After years of relative inaction on the transfer market, club President Florentino Perez appears to be keen to put a new gloss on the club’s tarnished reputation after a poor season in which they were overshadowed by rivals Barcelona.

His first big move came in March when he persuaded Zinedine Zidane to return as coach after he quit at the end of the 2017-18 season after bringing three Champions League titles in a row to the club.


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