Wolves have made their second signing in as many days with the recruitment of Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who can also play in defence, has joined the club initially on a season-long loan but the move will become permanent next summer.
Dendoncker’s arrival follows that of winger Adama Traore, who joined Wolves from Middlesbrough on Wednesday, and he could make his debut against Everton on Saturday.
Speaking to Wolves TV, Dendoncker said of his new employers: “I followed them a little bit last year and I saw they did really good. They won a lot of games and also with attractive football. I think it’s an ambitious club and that’s what attracts me the most. I’m ready to give everything.”
— Wolves (@Wolves) August 9, 2018
Dendoncker, whose two brothers are also professional footballers, had spent his whole senior career with Anderlecht, making 190 appearances for the Belgian side following his debut in 2013.
He scored five goals during Anderlecht’s title-winning campaign in 2016-17 and also played in all 16 of their European games that season, which ended with defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League.
Dendoncker has won six caps for Belgium and was a member of the squad that finished third at the World Cup this summer, with his one appearance coming in the group stage victory over England.
He said: “A lot of players from our team, they really wanted to win. It was like the game of the year to beat England, and we did it twice, so we were happy. They told me to come here and that I would become a better player. We will see. I’m very excited to start.
“I was the only player from the Belgian competition who was in the (World Cup) squad and now a move to the Premier League is also a dream, I think, for every young football player. I’m very happy to be here and I hope I can help the team as fast as possible.”
Although the length of his new Atleti terms has not been disclosed, Godin’s existing contract had less than 12 months to run – only serving to increase speculation he could leave the Wanda Metropolitano this summer.
And rumour mills went into overdrive on Thursday when the Red Devils contracted the Spanish capital club over his availability, in a desperate bid to strengthen their backline ahead of the transfer window deadline of 5pm in England.
Reportedly, Godin’s agent used his client’s dwindling contract as leverage to get in touch with United initially, informing the Premier League side that they should make an approach for the towering defender.
But that got knocked back and fell on deaf ears with Atleti making it clear their vice-captain was not for sale during this window, and reportedly, handed him a new contract off the back of it.
The Blues announced the deal on Wednesday, contingent on Thibaut Courtois’ move to Real.
The 23-year-old made just 17 appearances in La Liga last season and moves to the Premier League in search of regular first-team football.
Kovacic told Chelsea’s club website: “I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea. It is an amazing feeling. I will try to do my best for this club.
“It is a new league for me, the beginning is always tough but I am sure the coach and my new team-mates will help me and I am looking forward to a great season.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “We are very happy to welcome Mateo to the Chelsea family. He is a perfect fit for us this season, his style is well suited to how Maurizio wants to play and we are sure he will prove to be a valuable asset for the club.”