EPL: Colombia's Juan Cuadrado's Chelsea dream comes true
London: Chelsea made the biggest splash on a low-key transfer deadline day as the Premier League leaders signed Colombia international winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina on Monday.
Winger Juan Cuadrado. Pic/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had been linked with a move for Cuadrado for several weeks and he finally landed his target after making room in his squad by selling German World Cup-winning winger Andre Schuerrle to Bundesliga title challengers Wolfsburg.
Cuadrado, 26, signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the west London club and told Chelsea's website: "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."
Citing the influence of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Cuadrado said: "It is really going to be brilliant to work with one of the best coaches anywhere in the world."
Cuadrado, who had been at Fiorentina since 2012 after joining from Udinese, caught the eye with some sparkling performances for Colombia at last year's World Cup, where his country reached the quarter-finals.
He is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial fee of £23.3 million ($34.9 million), which could rise to £26.8 million.
As part of the deal, Chelsea's Egypt winger Mohamed Salah joined Fiorentina on loan until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, left-back Ryan Bertrand's season-long loan move to Southampton from Chelsea was turned into a permanent deal for a reported fee of £10 million.