Chelsea seal Cuadrado Swoop

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London – Chelsea have made the biggest splash on a low-key transfer deadline day as the Premier League leaders signed Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina on Monday.

Blues boss 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 Germany winger Andre Schurrle to Bundesliga title challengers Wolfsburg just hours earlier.

The 26-year-old, who agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the west London club, 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.”

Cuadrado, who had been at Fiorentina since 2012 after joining from Udinese, caught the eye with sparkling performances for Colombia at last year’s World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals only to be beaten by hosts Brazil.

He is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial fee of 23.3 million, which could rise to £26.8 million.

Cuadrado’s move was the most eye-catching deal on a day when most Premier League clubs seemed to be opting out of the usual last-ditch spending spree.

Robinho, Fernando Torres, Mesut Ozil and Radamel Falcao are among the players to have completed spectacular deadline-day moves in recent years, but the current transfer period has bucked the trend.

The lack of activity was summed up by German centre-back Robert Huth’s loan switch from Leicester City to Stoke City standing as the biggest move for several hours.

Huth, 30, has fallen out of favour at Stoke after injury problems and he now follows goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and striker Andrej Kramaric in joining bottom club Leicester during the January transfer window.

“I’m not expecting to walk in the team. I have to prove my worth,” Huth told Leicester’s website.

“I have watched enough Leicester games to be happy to come here, certainly the 5-3 win against Manchester United. And they beat Stoke at home, which was an upset for Stoke.

Wilfried Zaha’s unsuccessful spell at Manchester United is set to come to an end, with the 22-year-old winger on the verge of rejoining Crystal Palace on a permanent deal after spending the first half of the season on loan at Selhurst Park.

Palace had announced the deal on their website but had to remove the story as United believed some finer points of the transfer were yet to be resolved.

However, it has been widely reported that the England international will leave United after just four appearances to rejoin the Eagles for an undisclosed fee, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract.

United had high hopes for Ivory Coast-born Zaha when former boss Alex Ferguson signed him for an initial £10 million in 2013, but he failed to make an impact at Old Trafford and never started a league game.

Brazilian midfielder Anderson’s underwhelming seven-and-a-half-year spell with United also appears to be at an end, after team-mate Juan Mata revealed that the 26-year-old is returning to his homeland.

“I want to wish good luck to my friend Anderson, who is back to football in his native Brazil. All the best, my friend!” Mata wrote on his blog.

British press reports claimed Anderson, who spent time on loan at Fiorentina last season, was in talks over a move to Brazilian club Internacional.

Newcastle United full-back Davide Santon rejoined former club Inter Milan on loan for the rest of the season.

Santon struggled with injuries for much of his spell at St James’ Park, while the emergence of Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara at left-back pushed him further down the pecking order.

Meanwhile, Sunderland’s Greek midfielder Charis Mavrias has joined Panathinaikos on loan for the remainder of the season.

Culled from http://www.news24.com.ng/Sport/Football/Chelsea-seal-Cuadrado-swoop-20150203

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