Raul Meireles completed a deadline-beating £12million move to Chelsea after handing in a transfer request to Liverpool.
New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas moved for the Portuguese midfielder, whom he worked briefly alongside at Porto last season, in a bid to add more creativity to his side.
It is understood that Meireles, who is on a four-year contract, became Chelsea’s first choice when it was clear Tottenham would not sell Luka Modric even for a staggering £40m.
Meireles, who is nursing a collarbone injury sustained in Liverpool’s Carling Cup victory at Exeter City last week, did not even have time to undergo a medical.
The deal takes Chelsea’s summer spending to £72m after the signings of Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Thibaud Courtois.
Villas-Boas had seen an £8m offer plus Yossi Benayoun rejected at the weekend, but Meireles has grown disillusioned at Anfield having believed he was entitled to a new contract that was not forthcoming.
A statement on Liverpool’s website said: “Liverpool have tonight confirmed that Raul Meireles has submitted a written transfer request.”
Chelsea moved for Meireles as Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp revealed Spurs turned down their £40m bid for Modric.
But Redknapp was unable to secure a deal with Bolton over £13m Gary Cahill.
As a result, Redknapp had to pull the plug on a loan move for Sebastien Bassong to QPR and settle for the £6m signing of Scott Parker from West Ham to balance a host of departures.
Peter Crouch moved to Stoke for a club-record £10m. Stoke also signed Wilson Palacios, while Alan Hutton, on a four-year contract, and Jermaine Jenas, on a season-long deal, both joined Aston Villa and David Bentley went to West Ham.