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Barcelona target midfielder Mateo Kovacic signs for Real Madrid

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Barcelona has lost the race for a great player, and it's to a big rival.

Spanish giants Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that they have completed the signing of 21-year-old star Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan.

Real Madrid have announced on their official website the signing of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic. Kovacic joins from Inter Milan and will likely be an important player in Benítez's rotation policy.

Source: Managing Madrid

The Croatian central midfielder is one of the most promising young players in Europe, and was widely linked with the Catalan club in the last few transfer windows.

According to reports from Italy, both Madrid and Barça were using their Croatian stars, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, to persuade their national teammate to join their respective clubs. However, as time went on, the Blaugrana slowly started to give up on the deal, moving on to Atlético Madrid star Arda Turan instead. That left the door open for Los Blancos, who acted quickly and paid the Serie A club a €33 million fee.

Kovacic signed a six-year contract with the La Liga runners-up, and is available to debut on Sunday's league start, when Real take on Sporting Gijón.

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