Chelsea have signed former Everton star Ross Barkley on a five-and-a-half-year deal – and he will wear the number eight shirt.
It is understood the Premier League champions have paid £15million for the midfielder.
The England star’s Everton contract was due to expire at the end of the season and the Blues capitalised on the situation.
Barkley is yet to play a single minute of competitive football this season after falling out with the Everton hierarchy during the summer. He snubbed their offer of a new contract but failed to secure a move away, despite both Chelsea and Spurs being interested.
Upon signing for Chelsea, Barkley told ChelseaFC.com: “I’m overwhelmed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started.
“To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”
Club director Marina Granovskaia, who was present at the signing, said: “Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea.
“He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level. We welcome him to the club and look forward to seeing him in action.”
Barkley will take over the number eight shirt, formerly worn by club legend Frank Lampard.