Barcelona have confirmed the arrival of Denmark centre-back Andreas Christensen following the expiry of his Chelsea contract.
The 26-year-old was in the final year of his Blues deal last term. From January onwards, he was therefore able to speak to overseas teams to set up a pre-contract agreement.
And after Barcelona registered interest in Christensen, the Dane opened dialogue with the La Liga giants.
A deal was subsequently in the works for some time, with Barca president Joan Laporta recently teasing the deal by confirming his club were to sign a new centre-back.
Indeed, Barcelona have been struggling to register their new signings due to their financial troubles.
But after announcing midfielder Franck Kessie’s arrival from AC Milan, news of Christensen’s deal followed.
Barcelona confirmed in a statement that Christensen has signed a four-year deal. He will also have a €500million (£430million) release clause.
Barca have arranged a jam-packed presentation day on Thursday for Christensen, including his first press conference as a Blaugrana player.
Kessie’s contract also runs until 2026 and he similarly has a €500million buy-out clause. He will be publicly welcomed into the Barcelona family on Wednesday.
Christensen played 160 games for Chelsea, including 92 in the Premier League. He chipped in with two goals and two assists after rising through the Stamford Bridge academy ranks and into the Blues’ first team.
Kessie also ran down his contract at Milan and is a key addition in midfield from Milan. He leaves as a Serie A champion, with the Italians trying unsuccessfully to extend his contract.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had also said Christensen had the “perfect” environment to advance his career at Chelsea. However, he decided to move on and has now sealed his move to Barca.
Christensen a solid Barcelona signing
Christensen is only 26 years of age and so is approaching the height of his career.
And with Barcelona on their way back under head coach Xavi, their new defender can prove a massive part of their progress.
Barcelona have Champions League football to look forward to again next season after dropping into the Europa League.
Barcelona smart business ready to put them back amongst Europe’s elite
Barcelona look likely to sign Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all on free transfers this summer which is smart business compared to their past moves
They will be looking to not only get into the knock-out stages as has been their tradition, but also go all the way.
As well as Christensen, Barcelona also want to add Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski this summer. Although, the former deal looks more likely at this stage.