3 Feb 2015

Chelsea sign Colombian

12:24 pm on 3 February 2015

English Premier League football leaders Chelsea have signed Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado from Italian club Fiorentina on a four-and-a-half-year deal for a fee that media reports put at $54 million.

Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado

Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Cuadrado had been on Chelsea's radar for some time and the deal was finalised after the Stamford Bridge outfit sold Germany winger Andre Schuerrle to Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg earlier as the transfer deadline loomed.

Schuerrle played a major role in Germany's World Cup triumph last year.

The 24-year-old, however, failed to earn a regular starting place at Stamford Bridge this season.

Germany winger Andre Schurrle

Germany winger Andre Schurrle Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He struggled with form and fitness and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho opted to play Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian just behind central striker Diego Costa.

Schuerrle scored a total of 14 goals in 65 appearances for the Blues.

Cuadrado has been a key figure for Fiorentina since joining from Italian rivals Udinese in 2012 and his departure will be a blow to their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League as he leaves them in sixth spot.

Comfortable on either flank, or behind a striker, Cuadrado will offer Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho more attacking options as the season reaches a critical phase.

Chelsea are five points clear in the Premier League, in the League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur next month and have a Champions League last 16 tie looming against Paris St Germain.

Cuadrado scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for Fiorentina and has 37 caps for Colombia, having helped them to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

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