Chelsea Sign Colombian Winger Juan Cuadrado

Chelsea have emerged from a week of
complicated negotiations by signing the Colombia
winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina for a fee
that could rise to £26.8m, the largest outlay by a
Premier League club on this transfer deadline
day.
Cuadrado’s arrival on a four-and-a-half-year
contract was confirmed as the clock ticked
towards Monday’s
11pm transfer deadline, with Mohamed Salah
going the other way on a six-month loan as part
of the deal.
Yet the signing was effectively financed by the
£24m sale of André Schürrle to Wolfsburg after
18 months at Stamford Bridge, a deal pushed
through by the Bundesliga side just before the
early evening cut-off in Germany.
Whereas the World Cup winner had become a bit-
part player, making only five Premier League
starts this season, Cuadrado will expect to play an
integral part in a Chelsea team who lead the
Premier League by five points and face a
Champions League knockout tie with Paris Saint-
Germain in two weeks’ time.
The 26-year-old is eligible to play in that
competition and once clearance has been
granted, should be involved in the squad for
Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa.
“First of all I am very happy and thankful for this
opportunity I’ve been given,” said Cuadrado on
Chelsea TV.
“This is a great club and, honestly, it is like a
dream to join the Chelsea family and to know that
the manager believes in me.
“The best part of this dream is knowing I am
going to be part of such a big club. That is a huge
motivation to perform well. I am a quick and
positive player and I hope to show that out on the
field and help all my team-mates.
It is amazing that I am going to be working with
one of the best coaches anywhere in the world.
I’m very proud to be playing for him. I think he
will help me grow into a better player. We are a
big club so we want to win important things.
Playing for this team, winning the league
championship is the most important thing, I
think. As for everything else, Chelsea have big
players so we want to win big things.
I hope we can achieve a lot together.”
Cuadrado, who has 37 caps, had spent more than
five years in Italy, with Udinese and on loan at
Lecce before joining Fiorentina, and was a key
player in Colombia’s fine showing in the 2014
World Cup.
He contributed four assists and scored against
Japan during a run to the quarter-finals where
Colombia lost 2-1 to Brazil. He will provide Chelsea
with options in central attacking positions and
from wide.
José Mourinho, whose agent Jorge Mendes played
a part in smoothing the deal when the
complicated negotiations had threatened to stall,
pushed for his purchase.
Yet Chelsea could finalise a deal that pushed
English top-flight clubs’ spending in the window
above £100m only once Schürrle’s exit had been
confirmed.

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