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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Chelsea bag Smertin
Alexei Smertin
Smertin is due to go to Pompey on loan to begin with

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Bordeaux midfielder Alexei Smertin for 3.45m.

The 28-year-old was due to join Torpedo Moscow earlier this month but the move fell through.

Smertin, captain of Russia, has enjoyed a successful three-year spell with Bordeaux after joining the French side on a five-year contract from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2000.

Glen Johnson: 6m
Wayne Bridge: 7m
Damien Duff: 17m
Geremi: 7m
Juan Sebastian Veron: 15m
Joe Cole: 6.6m
Adrian Mutu 15.8m
Alexei Smertin: 3.45m
Total to date: 77.85m

"After several days of uncertainty, the situation of Alexei Smertin has unblocked itself this weekend," said a statement on the Bordeaux website.

"The Russian international midfielder joins the English club Chelsea after three years of good and loyal service to Bordeaux."

Smertin's arrival at Stamford Bridge will take the London club's spending to just below 80m under new Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea may loan Smertin to Premiership newcomers Portsmouth for a year to allow him to adjust to the pace of the Premiership.

Meanwhile, Hernan Crespo is expected to sign for Chelsea in an 18m move after their Champions League qualifier against MSK Zilina on Tuesday.

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