Chelsea sign £7.8m Gronkjaer

Chelsea have signed Danish international Jesper Gronkjaer for £7.8m.

Chelsea have signed Danish international Jesper Gronkjaer for £7.8m.

It takes the Premiership club's spending in less than a month to £9.5m, having also splashed out on Yugoslav international midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic on a two-year contract from Deportivo La Coruna.

Gronkjaer, a 23-year-old left-sided midfielder, has join them from Ajax on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

He is not expected to play until January 1 to give him time to recover from a slight thigh strain.

Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson expressed his relief at having finally gained Gronkjaer's signature after a "long saga" which had lasted almost a year, with two previous approaches having been turned down.

He added: "Jesper has played virtually continuously for 16 months because of Euro 2000, with only one week's holiday in the summer, and the minor strain needs some rest.

"So it's probably a good time for him to take a break. He will arrive with us when the Dutch season shuts down and it will be completed by January 1."

Gronkjaer, who has won 14 Danish caps and impressed for his country at the Euro 2000 finals, joined Ajax in July 1998 after three seasons at Aalborg and scored 15 goals from 70 appearances for the Dutch side.

Chelsea intend to use him on the left flank, where they have been short of attacking width especially because of the failure of Gabriele Ambrosetti to make his mark in English football.

However, coach Claudio Ranieri already has several left-sided players in the squad - including Graeme Le Saux, Celestine Babayaro and Jon Harley, who is on loan at Wimbledon.

Given that he has so far been playing a wing-back system, it remains to be seen how Gronkjaer will fit in and whether any of that trio will be sold in an attempt to balance the books.

Hutchinson, who has previously been linked with moves for a number of other overseas wingers, insisted: "Jesper was always top of our list for the wide left position and we are delighted that at last we have got him."

The Danish international declared: "I never had any doubts about joining Chelsea. They are a big club.

"The Premiership was always my first option. I could have gone to Italy or Spain but I always said if I left Ajax I wanted to play in England.

"This is a great move for me. I was very impressed when I visited Chelsea. I spoke with Claudio Ranieri for two hours and I liked what he had told me.

"I am looking forward to working with him and playing with some of Europe's top players."

Ranieri had initially declared his intention to instal a British backbone to his Chelsea side and look to sign more English players. But, especially with his two overseas signings, there has been little evidence of that so far.

The Chelsea coach's sights are, however, more immediately trained on tomorrow night's Worthington Cup tie at Liverpool.

The Blues, who have in previous years fielded weakened sides in the competition, will again be without Mario Stanic and Jes Hogh through injury as well as Le Saux through suspension.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, John Terry and Rati Aleksidze are added to their 16-man squad from last weekend's home win against Tottenham, which was their third consecutive success at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues know they must start to win away if they are to make real progress this season, though, with their only victories away from Stamford Bridge since a Premiership success at Leeds in April having come at Wembley.

Goalkeeper Ed de Goey warned: "We need to play every game with confidence. If you're playing away or at home then it doesn't make any difference to me. That has to be the same for everyone."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower