German international Andre Schürrle's transfer to Chelsea, long the subject of speculation, has been completed. The international winger cost London club and star manager Jose Mourinho a reported 23 million euros.
English Premiership side Chelsea on Thursday announced that they had completed a lengthy hunt for Bayer Leverkusen star Andre Schürrle. The German international was always interested in a move - he was even rumored to have signed a pre-contract - but his long-term deal at Bayer Leverkusen meant that Chelsea needed to reach a deal with the Pharmaceuticals.
German football magazine Kicker reported that this deal was ultimately worth 23 million euros ($30.6 million) and was also contingent on Leverkusen finding a desired replacement for their star attacker.
"We made it clear from the start that a transfer of Schürrle to Chelsea would only happen if an adequate sporting replacement was possible," Leverkusen's president, Wolfgang Holzhäuser, said. "This alternative was now taken under contract with Heung-Min Son and so there is nothing blocking Andre Schürrle's transfer from our side."
Heung-Min Son played an impressive season for Hamburg in the Bundesliga, and at 20 years of age, he has even more of his career ahead of him than the 22-year-old German international.
Schürrle had been on Chelsea's radar all season, long before the return of star coach Jose Mourinho - unveiled earlier in the week. The German is effectively Mourinho's first acquisition, if not a pet project of the Portuguese manager himself.
"Chelsea Football Club and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have reached an agreement for the transfer of Andre Schürrle, subject to the completion of legal documentation and related matters, including personal terms and passing a medical," Chelsea wrote in a statement on its chelseafc.com website.
Payday for Mainz as well
Kicker also reported on Thursday that Schürrle's former club, Mainz, would receive 30 percent of the transfer fee as a result of an outstanding clause from the youngster's 2011 move to Leverkusen. In two seasons with the club, Schürrle bagged 18 goals in 65 league appearances. He has also represented his country 24 times already, scoring seven goals at the highest level.
The winger will face exceedingly stiff competition at the London club owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Chelsea's midfield oozes quality, with internationals like Eden Hazard, Oscar, Victor Moses, Ramires and even Germany's Marko Marin - himself many miles away from a starting spot since leaving Werder Bremen - all vying for playing time.
Meanwhile Hamburg's Heung-Min Son, whose team narrowly missed out on European football in the current Bundesliga campaign, transfers to a club that will compete in the next Champions League competition. The Korean youngster bagged 12 goals for Hamburg in the Bundesliga, but only two assists, with his instinct to shoot rather than pass one of the comparatively rare sources of criticism against the dynamic winger. He and Schürrle are players of an almost identical mold, happiest out wide but able to play up front if required.