Kovacic eyes starting berth

Newly-signed Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is confident he can tie down a place in Rafa Benitez's starting line-up this season.

Kovacic departed Inter for the Bernebeu in the off-season for a fee believed to be in the region of 32 million euros and has appeared in the club's two league games so far, coming on as a late substitute in both fixtures.

The Croatian admits it was impossible to turn the opportunity to join the Spanish giants and hopes to force his way into the talented squad this campaign.

"Real Madrid is one of the few teams in the world you cannot say no to,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "In the end, the clubs found a solution that made all parties happy.

"Every player dreams of playing for Madrid. It has happened to me at 21-years-old, so I consider myself very lucky.

"I don't think a club like this base their decisions on a single performance, but perhaps playing for Inter against Madrid helped a little.

"I know it will be tough to earn a starting place, but I'm sure I'll do it."