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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 03:00 GMT 04:00 UK
Chelsea sign Makelele
Claude Makelele
Chelsea have completed the signing of France midfielder Claude Makelele from Real Madrid.

The deal, which was sealed late on Sunday evening, brings to an end the club's 111m summer spending spree.

The Blues have given the 30-year-old midfielder a four-year contract after agreeing an undisclosed fee - believed to be about 16m - with Madrid.

Makelele will take the number four shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid director of football Jorge Valdano said his club faxed the documentation to the Blues just ahead of midnight deadline.

Chelsea confirmed documentation was received at 2330 BST, less than 12 hours before the deadline for players to be eligible for the Champions League.

Expect no more ins or outs in the remainder of the Premiership transfer window
Chelsea statement

Makelele told Chelsea TV he was delighted to be joining a club with ambition.

"Everbody is talking about Chelsea. Real Madrid is no different to anyone," he said.

"There's lots of interest, everybody is talking about the ambition of the London club, Chelsea."

Makelele's on-off move looked like being derailed earlier on Sunday after a new dispute arose between the player and Real Madrid.

CHELSEA CASH SIGNINGS
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
Hernan Crespo: 16.8m
Neil Sullivan: 500,000
Claude Makelele: 16m
Total to date: 111.15m

The Frenchman's agent Marc Roger claimed the midfielder's transfer was "very unlikely" while Real refused to give Makelele his slice of the transfer fee.

But Valdano said the issue had been resolved because the player was entitled to no such payment.

"That was all a misunderstanding over nothing," Valdano said.

"That rule doesn't exist. Especially if that team is outside of Spain."

Makelele made it clear he wanted to leave the Spanish champions and recently refused to take part in training in protest at being one of the lowest-paid players at the club.

He becomes Chelsea's 11th since billionaire owner Roman Abramovich took over, taking his spending to more than 110m.






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