Chelsea have finalised the signing of Colombia international, Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina while Egypt international striker Mohammed Salah has moved the other direction on a six-month loan.
The 26-year-old have signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at the Premier League club, after the departure of Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg.
Chelsea are believed to have pulled down their winter transfer record for Cuadrado in a deal that could eventually cost £26.8m- the largest fee paid by the English leaders ever in a winter transfer window.
“I am very happy and thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given. 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. I’m happy,” he is quoted as saying on London club’s official website.
The winger thanked Fiorentina fans for their support over the past two and a half years in a special message.
Hello from “The Bridge” pic.twitter.com/h1VZfvAGXs
— Juan Cuadrado (@Cuadrado) January 31, 2015
“Florence will always be in my heart,” said Cuadrado. “The people are extraordinary. The fans full of passion. The Viola launched my career and gave me the opportunity to grow also thanks to a great club and exceptional team-mates. Now a new journey awaits me. new emotions. New objective. But always with Florence in my heart.”
Cuadrado began his career at Independiente Medellin and moved to Italy in 2009 to join Udinese. After failing to break into the Bianconeri’s first team, he was loaned to Lecce, where he caught the attention of Fiorentina scouts.
He joined Fiorentina in July 2012 and featured in 105 matches in all competitions while at the Viola.
He has 37 international caps and five goals. A prominent member of his country’s impressive 2014 World Cup campaign, Cuadrado scored in the group-stage win against Japan before ending the tournament at the quarter-final stage at the expense of Brazil.
Salah could make his initial loan to Fiorentina permanent after six months if he impresses the Serie A side.
The 22-year-old joined the Blues from Swiss champions Basel in January last year but has struggled to cement a first team shirt, with just three league appearances so far this season.