Luka Jovic ends nightmare Real Madrid spell, joins Fiorentina on free transfer

Luka Jovic has left Real Madrid for Fiorentina on a free transfer, three years after the LaLiga club paid €60 million to sign the forward who was then among Europe's most sought-after young stars.

Jovic, 24, joins Fiorentina on a two-year deal until June 2024. Madrid will retain the right to receive 50% of a transfer fee, should the Serie A club decide to move the player on.

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The Serbia international will look to reignite his career in Italy after scoring just three LaLiga goals, and never finding the net in the Champions League, during a disappointing spell at the Bernabeu.

Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was keen to trim his squad this summer, sources have told ESPN, with both Jovic and Mariano Diaz viewed as surplus to requirements in attack.

Jovic played for Red Star Belgrade, Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt, catching the eye of several top clubs after scoring 17 times in the Bundesliga in 2018-19, before Madrid won the race for his signature in June 2019.

He was intended to provide competition -- and even act as a potential successor -- to Karim Benzema, but never managed to dislodge the France international from the starting XI.

A return of two league goals from 17 appearances in 2019-20 saw him loaned back to Frankfurt for the second half of the following season, and his return to Madrid last year brought just one league goal as Benzema enjoyed the best form of his career.

Jovic departs having won two LaLiga titles and a Champions League in his time at Madrid, despite having played a limited role in those victories.

At Fiorentina, he joins a team which finished seventh in Serie A last season, a point behind Roma, to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

He will be tasked with replacing Dusan Vlahovic, who scored 17 goals in 21 league appearances before moving to Juventus last January.