Florent Malouda is expected to join his new Chelsea team-mates in the United States today after completing his transfer to Stamford Bridge from French champions Lyon on a four-year deal.
The winger, who has joined for an undisclosed fee, will fly out at the earliest opportunity and is preparing to make his debut in a pre-season friendly against Club America of Mexico in San Jose on Saturday.Malouda, who was also chased by Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan, had a medical in London yesterday and claimed Chelsea was his preferred destination.
The 27-year-old, who was voted player of the year in France last season after winning four titles in a row, should have no problems settling in at his new club having already played with striker Didier Drogba at Guingamp and midfielder Michael Essien at Lyon.
He is widely regarded as a replacement for Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who has been linked all summer with a move to Real Madrid. But chief executive Peter Kenyon has spoken of Chelsea's desire to keep Robben, insisting "they are two different types of players".
By Chris Hatherall