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Smertin seals Chelsea switch

Published: Monday 25 August 2003, 19.34CET
Chelsea FC have completed the signing of Russian international midfield player Aleksei Smertin.
Published: Monday 25 August 2003, 19.34CET

Smertin seals Chelsea switch

Chelsea FC have completed the signing of Russian international midfield player Aleksei Smertin.

Chelsea FC have completed the signing of Russian international Aleksei Smertin, the English Premiership club announced this morning.

'Good service'
The 28-year-old defensive midfield player has been bought from French club FC Girondins de Bordeaux for a fee of €5m. A statement on the Bordeaux website said: "The Russian international midfielder joins English club Chelsea after three years of good and loyal service to Bordeaux."

Loan likely
Smertin has won 29 caps for Russia and has previously played for FC Uralan Elista and FC Lokomotiv Moskva. He is expected to spend the season on loan at another club.

Big spenders
The signing takes Chelsea's spending to more than €110m since the club's purchase last month by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. Glen Johnson, Wayne Bridge, Damien Duff, Geremi, Joe Cole, Juan Sebastián Verón and Adrian Mutu have all arrived at the club this summer and Internazionale FC's Argentinian striker Hernán Crespo is expected to join them later this week.

Žilina task
Chelsea face MŠK Žilina at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. The London side lead 2-0 from the first leg in Slovakia.

Last updated: 25/08/03 19.19CET

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