Chelsea have agreed a £30m deal to sign attacking midfielder Willian from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, subject to a work permit hearing.
The 25-year-old Brazilian was close to joining Tottenham after having a medical on Wednesday. But it is understood Chelsea made their move at around 18:00 BST on Thursday, with a fee and personal terms agreed within 24 hours.
Willian will have a medical before his work permit hearing next week.
The transfer was made possible after Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, whose fellow Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov owns Anzhi, intervened.
Willian expected to join Tottenham, but when the Blues stepped in, he felt the chance to play Champions League football was too good to reject.
Sources close to the player said Chelsea have made enquiries or offers for his services in every transfer window since 2011.
Willian will become the Stamford Bridge club’s third major summer acquisition following the arrivals of Germany forward Andre Schurrle and Netherlands midfielder Marco van Ginkel.
Earlier on Friday, Blues manager Jose Mourinho indicated that Willian would choose Chelsea over Tottenham. When asked whether the Brazilian had chosen to join his club, Mourinho nodded.
The Portuguese added: “I know what the player wants, so in this moment we cannot hide.”