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Real Madrid signs young Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic

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La Liga giants Real Madrid started what is expected to be a busy summer transfer window with the confirmed signing of 21-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.

The club confirmed it has signed Jovic to a five-year contract pending a physical. While the terms of the deal were not included in the brief release, it is widely reported that Jovic cost Real Madrid in the vicinity of $67.5 million.

“Luka Jovic is a big loss for us,” said Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic who also confirmed the deal. “His explosiveness and scoring skills have been showcased throughout Europe and we’ve benefited from his goals and contributions over the past two years. But for us it was clear that there was a financial threshold. For Eintracht Frankfurt this is a good and important transfer. We wish Luka only the best for his future. He has the best qualifications for a great career, and we are proud that we were able to support him along the way.”

The Serbian youngster, who owns four international caps to his name, scored 27 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions for Frankfurt last year, including 17 league goals in 32 games plus another 10 in 14 Europa League matches. He announced his presence with a massive five-goal game against Fortuna Dusseldorf in mid-October and was a force in European play as Eintracht Frankfurt reached the semifinals of the competition before falling to eventual winners Chelsea on penalties.

Jovic began his career in the youth system of Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia and made his way to the senior squad where he spent two years where he made 48 appearances as a teenager. He was sold to Benfica in the winter of 2016 in controversial fashion – Football Leaks exposed dirty third-party dealings involving Cypriot side Apollon Limassol – for a deal of around $8 million.

He then found himself on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan with the German club who made the move officially permanent this summer by activating an $8 million clause. That allowed Eintracht to enjoy the financial windfall of a massive deal to Real Madrid.

The Real Madrid summer is expected to be a busy one, with Zinedine Zidane leading a rebuild that is also targeting the likes of Eden Hazard and Eder Militao.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Real Madrid seals $67M Jovic signing

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There was fire to go with the smoke: Luka Jovic is headed to Real Madrid.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s superstar Serbian striker is heading west to help Zinedine Zidane rebuild Real in a move worth $67 million according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

Around $13 million of that will go to Benfica, who loaned and then sold Jovic to the German outfit.

Jovic scored 27 times in 47 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists. His 17 Bundesliga goal sare third this season, five behind Golden Boot leader Robert Lewandowski.

If you haven’t seen much of Jovic, be prepared for him to become a bigger part of the soccer consciousness. With Eden Hazard (allegedly) among those providing service and Zidane guiding the striker, he could become the next household name.

He’s that talented.

Chelsea survive PK shootout, will face Arsenal in UEL final (video)

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Chelsea went through the wringer of emotions that is a penalty shootout in the semifinals of a European semifinal on Thursday, and came out the other side as Europa League finalists.

[ MORE: Tottenham pull off second amazing UCL comeback in two days ]

Eintracht Frankfurt matched Chelsea’s 1-1 away result from the first leg and held firm through extra time before bowing out to a pair of fine saves made by Kepa Arrizabalaga. It’ll be Chelsea versus Arsenal in Azerbaijan on May 29.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek put the Blues ahead with a pinpoint finish just before the half-hour mark. Eden Hazard played Loftus-Cheek into tons of space behind on the left side of the Frankfurt penalty area, but the 23-year-old still had lots to do. Loftus-Cheek, who’s finally getting a semi-extended run in the first team (six starts in the last eight games), shaped his body to go for the far post and tucked it just inside the frame to make it 1-0 on the day and 2-1 on aggregate.

The advantage lasted until halftime, but not much longer. Luka Jovic’s days as a Frankfurt player could be numbered (Real Madrid are rumored to have agreed a $67-million deal to bring him to Spain this summer), but he’s making the most of the biggest stage on which he’s played (so far). His equalizer in the 49th minute brought his tally of Europa League goals to double digits. The 21-year-old didn’t just finish the chance, but he helped to create it as well.

[ MORE: Tearful Pochettino hails Spurs “heroes” after another UCL comeback ]

Extra time was more than a little nervy for Chelsea, who required a pair of goal-line clearances during the second period to force the shootout. David Luiz came first, followed not long after by Davide Zappacosta.

Cesar Azpilicueta was the first and only Chelsea player to see his spot kick saved, as Kevin Trapp made an incredible dive to his left and palmed the ball around the post. Then came back-to-back failed attempts for Frankfurt. Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia were each denied by Arrizabalaga, who, it should be noted, was left in the game by manager Maurizio Sarri.

That set the stage for Hazard to play the hero’s part and set up another all-Premier League final in Europe, competing the 4-for-4 clean sweep with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur set to face off for Champions League glory.

UEL preview: Arsenal, Chelsea one step from meeting in final

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If Thursday’s Europa League semifinal second legs even come close to living up to the Champions League drama we just enjoyed endured on Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll be endlessly thankful for two days of rest before the Premier League title race gets settled on Sunday.

[ MORE: Tottenham pull off second amazing UCL comeback in two days ]

Arsenal, heading to Spain for the second leg, hold a 3-1 advantage over Valencia. Chelsea, meanwhile, have an away goal to their name after securing a 1-1 draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt last week.

Chelsea secured their top-four place in the PL on Sunday, and next season’s UCL qualification that comes with it. Arsenal, on the other hand, dropped points against 17th-place Brighton & Hove Albion and stand virtually no chance of overtaking Tottenham Hotspur for fourth (they trail their north London rivals by three points and eight goals in the goal differential column).

Winning the Europa League is the Gunners’ last (realistic) hope of avoiding Europe’s “other” competition for a third straight season and returning to the riches of club soccer’s biggest stage. Suffice to say, it’s a thoroughly intriguing subplot as these London clubs barrel toward a potential showdown at the final on May 29 in Azerbaijan.

[ MORE: Tearful Pochettino hails Spurs “heroes” after another UCL comeback ]

While Arsenal are winless in their last four PL outings (just one point, against Brighton), Unai Emery can point toward a series of stellar performances in the UEL, beginning with the second leg against Rennes in the round of 16, as a potential saving grace. After dropping the first leg 3-1 in France, Arsenal took care of business with a 3-0 victory at home. Since then, they brushed Napoli aside, 3-0 on aggregate, and hold what should be a comfortable lead over Valencia as they head to the Mestalla on Thursday.

Chelsea haven’t lost a game in Europe all season. They dropped just two points in the group stage, on the final day with their place in the knockout rounds long since secured, and were victorious in both legs prior to last week’s trip to Germany. So confident — and focused on finishing top-four in the PL — was Maurizio Sarri that he started the first leg with Eden Hazard on the bench before bringing him on for the final half-hour. However, the Blues are not likely to be without midfield engine N'Golo Kante after the Frenchman suffered a hamstring injury in their win over Watford.