Juan Cuadrado
Cuadrado has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Chelsea, and will be wearing the number 23 shirtReuters

Chelsea have completed the signing of winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina for a reported transfer fee of €35 million (£26m), with Mohamed Salah joining the Serie A side on loan for the remainder of the season.

The West London club have also announced that the Colombian international has penned a four-and-a-half-year contract, and will be donning the number 23 shirt.

"Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina. The 26-year-old has joined on a four-and-a-half-year contract, and will wear the number 23 shirt," read a statement on the Blues' official website.

Despite Chelsea reportedly activating the release clause in Cuadrado's contract much earlier, negotiations dragged on until the very last moment, before the transfer was finally announced around 11 pm GMT (4.30 am IST) on transfer deadline day.

Cuadrado, who will be able to feature during Chelsea's Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Saturday, expressed his delight at having successfully completed the transfer.

"I am very happy and thankful for this opportunity I've been given," he said. "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."

Although Fiorentina tried everything they could to hold on to Cuadrado, tying him down to a new contract containing a buyout clause in October, they were unable to stop him from leaving the Artemio Franchi in the winter transfer window.

And Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella, despite admitting that he was disappointed to see the Colombian leave, feels that "the club did the right thing."

"From my point of view it's disappointing, but the club did the right thing," said Montella, according to ESPN. "I don't think [selling Cuadrado] means we have taken a step backwards."

The 40-year-old Italian also says that he is "pleased" to see Cuadrado join a "top club" like Chelsea.

"[Cuadrado] is a professional and he always wants to play, and I'm pleased because he's joining a top club. Cuadrado is a player that has always arrived with a smile and given everything to Fiorentina."

Montella is also confident that Salah will be able to fill the void left by Cuadrado's depature.

"A top player has left us, but I still see similar characteristics in Salah," added the Italian.

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