José Mourinho has completed the first signing of his second spell at Chelsea with the €22m (£18.7m) capture of André Schürrle from Bayer Leverkusen in a move that will further strengthen his options in the attacking line behind the striker.
Schürrle, who is most comfortable on the left wing where he can cut inside on to his favoured right foot, but can also play as a No10, has been a long-standing Chelsea target, having first come to the club's attention with his performance for Leverkusen in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge in September 2011.
The deal for him had been at an advanced stage for several months but Leverkusen did not want to confirm it until they had signed a replacement. They did so on Thursday lunchtime when they announced that the attacking midfielder Son Heung-min had joined from Hamburg which, in turn, allowed Chelsea to release a statement on their website that Schürrle had signed subject to the successful completion of a medical.
Mourinho, who was confirmed as Chelsea's new manager at the beginning of last week, was in charge at Real Madrid when the club laid the groundwork for the transfer but he gave his blessing to it, after making a check call to Michael Ballack, who was in his squad during his first spell at Stamford Bridge. Ballack became a team-mate of Schürrle's when he rejoined Leverkusen in 2010.
Chelsea had explored the possibility of a part-exchange deal for Schürrle involving the Belgium winger Kevin De Bruyne, who they signed from Genk in January 2012. De Bruyne was immediately loaned back to Genk while he spent last season on loan at Werder Bremen, meaning that he has yet to play for Chelsea.
De Bruyne, though, favours a permanent transfer to Borussia Dortmund and the likelihood of him getting his wish has now increased. He has also attracted the interest of Schalke.
Schürrle, 22, has scored seven times in 24 appearances for Germany and is the prototype Mourinho winger, being fast, direct and effective on the counter. Mourinho considers him to offer different qualities to Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar and Victor Moses, although Schürrle will compete for a starting place with them.
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