Chelsea sign Carvalho from Porto in £20m deal

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The Independent Online

Porto defender Ricardo Carvalho was last night finalising a move to Chelsea in a deal that could rise to £20m. The 26- year-old passed a medical and was at Stamford Bridge negotiating personal terms. He is expected to fly out today to join up with his new club on the pre-season tour of the United States.

Porto defender Ricardo Carvalho was last night finalising a move to Chelsea in a deal that could rise to £20m. The 26- year-old passed a medical and was at Stamford Bridge negotiating personal terms. He is expected to fly out today to join up with his new club on the pre-season tour of the United States.

The deal was confirmed by Carvalho's agent Jorge Mendes - the man who brokered manager Jose Mourinho's move to Chelsea and who also represents Paulo Ferreira, the full-back who switched from Porto for £13.2m. "The fee has been agreed between the two clubs and the negotiations for personal terms have started," Mendes said yesterday.

"The player is in London and has passed a medical, and is currently discussing personal terms," Chelsea said in a statement.

Porto - who have also sold midfielders Deco and Pedro Mendes this summer - were reluctant to lose Carvalho but could not resist the astonishing fee of £16.5m up front and a further £3.5m dependent on appearances. It makes Carvalho the second biggest signing in Chelsea's history after Didier Drogba, who completed a £24m move from Marseille last week. It takes the spending, since Roman Abramovich took over last summer, to £210m with Mourinho having spent £70m on just five players this summer.

The capture of Carvalho - who starred in Portugal's Euro 2004 campaign will complete the 23-man squad Mourinho wants. He is likely to be used in rotation with captain John Terry and William Gallas in central defence.

It is a situation Carvalho is used to. Mourinho changed his central defenders over the past two years at Porto and had earmarked the player - who was very keen to move to England - when he first took over at Chelsea. That interest cooled after Porto insisted on a high price. Mourinho has examined other, cheaper targets - including yet another Porto player, Pedro Emanuel - and was concerned that he was simply surrounding himself with expensive imports. However he has returned for Carvalho having been unconvinced by the defensive cover at Chelsea. Robert Huth, 19, in particular, has failed to impress.

"You could understand why I need another central defender, because the only player in 23 who could not play was exactly the central defender," Mourinho said after his team beat Celtic in a friendly last weekend.

"Imagine in high level competition this kind of situation. So we have this space to be occupied," he was quoted as saying on Chelsea's website.

Carvalho will be Chelsea's seventh major signing under Mourinho, who replaced Claudio Ranieri as coach last month.

He joins Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech, Serbia and Montenegro striker Mateja Kezman, Portugal midfielder Tiago Mendes and Portugal defender Paulo Ferreira.

Carvalho's arrival will bring Chelsea's spending since the end of last season to around £100m pounds.

Chelsea, last season's Premier ship runners-up, are due to face Manchester United in their first game of the new season on 15 August at Stamford Bridge.

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