Chelsea have completed the signing of Spain international midfielder Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid.
The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years, with Manchester United holding a long-standing interest in his signature over recent transfer windows.
However, Chelsea emerged as serious contenders this summer and, despite reports earlier on deadline day suggesting that the deal had collapsed, they have now completed the signing of Saul.
The European champions are understood to have paid Atletico a loan fee of €5m (£4.3m), while the deal includes an option to buy the Spain international for €40m (£34.3m) in June 2022.
Speaking to chelseafc.com, Saul said: “I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can’t wait to wear the shirt, start training and see all of you. See you soon!”
Club director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘We welcome Saul to the Club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honours in five different competitions this season. He is a proven winner, a player with huge experience and we know he will be very well-suited to the challenges that face us on all fronts in the coming year.”
Saul came through the ranks with Atletico, joining as a 14-year-old in 2008 and going on to make 340 appearances for the senior side.
However, the Spaniard was told that he was free to seek a new challenge by Atleti manager Diego Simeone this summer, and he will now spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.
Saul becomes the Blues’ third signing of the window, after Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Bettinelli.