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Chelsea land Cuadrado on low-key deadline day

Chelsea land Cuadrado on low-key deadline day
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.”

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 quarterfinal. He is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial fee of £23.3 million ($34.9 million, 30.8 million euros), 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. Wilfried Bony’s switch from Swansea City to Manchester City for a reported initial fee of £25 million was the biggest deal of the window in EPL.  

Despite more than £110 million being spent, spending was down in England compared to previous January transfer windows, but total spending over the entirety of the 2014-15 campaign represents a new record. After 342 appearances, Scotland captain Darren Fletcher left Manchester United for West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer after falling out of favour under manager Louis van Gaal.

Wilfried Zaha’s disappointing spell at United also came to an end as his loan move to former club Crystal Palace was made permanent for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old Ivory Coast-born winger joined United for a fee that could have risen to £15 million in 2013, but made just four appearances at Old Trafford and returned to Palace on loan last August.

Clubs spend record $1.4 billion: Report
Premier League clubs spent a record £950 million ($1.4 billion, 1.2 billion euros) combined in the 2014/15 pre-season and mid-season transfer windows, according to a report published by financial analysts Deloitte on Tuesday. The report said spending in the January transfer window concluded on Monday equalled the £130 million amount during last year’s corresponding buying period. Although Monday’s deadline day was relatively low key, with Premier League leaders Chelsea’s signing of Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina the headline purchase, clubs still spent more on the final day of this particular window, £45 million, than they did at the climax of the January 2014 market (£35 million).

However, the final figure of £130 million was well below the record January spend of £225 million in 2011 when Chelsea broke the record for a transfer between two British clubs by signing striker Fernando Torres from top-flight rivals Liverpool for £50 million. Nevertheless, the total spent by clubs across the two windows has surpassed the previous highest of £760 million in the 2013/14 season and is a further example of the increased financial strength of leading English clubs, who have benefitted from increased television and other broadcast revenues. Last season saw Premier League spending surpass the £700 million threshold for the first time, and the revenue growth at Premier League clubs is such that they have been able to record a combined transfer spend this season of over £950 million.

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