Chelsea took their spending in the transfer window to around £25m yesterday when they agreed terms for the Lokomotiv Moscow defender Branislav Ivanovic, for a fee of around £10m.
The Serbian Under-21 captain's arrival follows Nicolas Anelka's £15m move from Bolton last week. He will be immediately installed as first-choice right-back, though he can play in central defence as well. The Chelsea manager Avram Grant is expected to make two more signings before the end of the month.
"A work permit application has been successful," Chelsea said in a statement. "The transfer is now subject to personal terms and passing of the medical."
The protracted saga of Afonso Alves's £12m transfer to Middlesbrough is expected to be settled this evening with the Dutch Federation due to rule on whether the deal can go ahead. AZ Alkmaar are claiming the Brazilian has already signed for them, from Heerenveen, but that option is thought to have expired on 5 January – allowing the striker to move to the Premier League club.
Boro have agreed personal terms with Alves, who is also understood to have had a medical. The 26-year-old, who has been told he has no future at Heerenveen, should be unveiled before Saturday's league meeting with Blackburn Rovers although there are some issues to finalise over his work permit.
The Teesiders should also find out today if they have been thwarted in their attempts to sign another Brazilian, the Lyons striker Fred, who is also interesting Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St-Germain. They are also in talks to sign a third striker, Motherwell's Ross McCormack. The 21-year-old is out of contract in the summer and will cost only around £250,000.
Boro have also made an inquiry about Portsmouth's Matt Taylor although they are balking at the £4.5m transfer fee they have been quoted, even though Bolton and Sunderland have agreed that price. Taylor is free to leave Fratton Park although Pompey manager Harry Redknapp is keen to sign players before he sells. Two are scheduled to arrive this week, with one of those likely to be Arsenal's Lassana Diarra, as The Independent revealed on 29 December. The French international will cost £5.5m.
Monaco want to sign Boro midfielder Fabio Rochemback, while the Teesiders are hoping to secure £10m – rather than the £8m offered by Spurs – for the sale of Stewart Downing. They have a ready-made replacement in Adam Johnson while Taylor, if he signs, would be able to play in that position as well as left-back.
Fulham are also working to bolster their squad. They have made a final offer of £5m – having failed with two previous bids – for Watford striker Marlon King after failing with a move for Italian striker Cristiano Lucarelli, who yesterday agreed to join Parma from Shakhtar Donetsk. Fulham are set to sign American striker Eddie Johnson, who last night flew into London.Reuse content