Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 2, 2015
Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado on a deal until 2019.
Cuadrado, 26, signed for Fiorentina from Udinese in the summer of 2013 for £17.6 million following an initial season-long loan, racking up 26 goals in 105 total appearances during his time with the Serie A club.
His impressive showing at the World Cup, in which he led the tournament in assists along with Toni Kroos with four, saw both Manchester United and Barcelona linked to his signature over the summer, per the Daily Mail, but the Colombia international will instead start the next chapter of his career at Stamford Bridge.
"I am very happy and thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given," he told the club's official website. "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 joins Chelsea for a reported £23.3 million fee following Andre Schurrle's departure for Wolfsburg for £22 million, with fellow wide man Mohamed Salah also moving to Fiorentina on a season-long loan.
The 37-times capped attacker leaves Florence having made a big impression on the club, with manager Vincenzo Montella telling reporters at the weekend: "It was a negotiation which had to be done. From my point of view it's disappointing, but the club did the right thing.
"A top player has left us, but I still see similar characteristics in Salah. I don't think [selling Cuadrado] means we have taken a step backwards. [Cuadrado] is a professional and he always wants to play, and I'm pleased because he's joining a top club."
With Chelsea five points ahead of champions Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, Cuadrado's arrival will come as a major boost for the second half of the season, as Jose Mourinho bids to win his first title since returning to west London last summer.