France striker Loic Remy is targeting Champions League glory with Chelsea after the Premier League’s early pacesetters moved swiftly to wrap up a £10.5m deal before tonight’s transfer deadline.
Remy’s short move across west London from QPR allowed £50m misfit Fernando Torres to leave Stamford Bridge for AC Milan on what is officially a two-year loan but effectively a free transfer.
It also means Chelsea are unlikely to be among the host of English clubs desperately trying to bolster their squads before the summer transfer window closes at 11pm British time.
Remy who scored six goals in 16 games for QPR, plus 14 in 27 on loan at Newcastle last season, cited Europe’s top club competition as a motivation for moving.
“I feel very happy and very proud to have signed for Chelsea. They are one of the best clubs in the world,” said the 27-year-old. “I wanted to play in the Champions League this season. I know that Chelsea can win the Champions League this season because there is so much quality in the squad.”
Manchester City, who trail leaders Chelsea by three points, are believed to be exploring the possibility of signing Monaco striker Radamel Falcao but would need to sell to buy the Colombian and comply with financial fair play restrictions imposed by European chiefs Uefa. Forward Alvaro Negredo and defenders Micah Richards and Matija Nastasic are among the City players thought to be up for sale.
Struggling neighbours Manchester United are expected to be busy today, with more players expected to follow Shinji Kagawa in leaving the club, after he returned to former team Borussia Dortmund yesterday. England forward Danny Welbeck, midfielder Tom Cleverley and Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, who could join Real Madrid on loan, are among the candidates to depart.
Fulham have sold £11m striker Kostas Mitroglu back to Olympiakos, just seven months after he left Greece for Craven Cottage. The 26-year-old played just 151 minutes, scoring no goals.
■ Premier League clubs have spent almost as much on players from Spain (£253m) as they have on those from England (£267m) this summer
■ Manchester United have been the highest spenders, racking up a bill of £164m, while top-flight newcomers Burnley spent the least, at just £2m
■ Players signed from Spain have been most expensive for English sides, costing on average £17m each. Those from Portugal are next at £15.4m, while those from German are £4m