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Chelsea have completed the signing of striker Andrii Shevchenko from Milan for a fee of reported to be in the region of £31m.

The 29-year-old has signed a four-year deal after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

“I am here for the challenge and the excitement of the Premier League,” said the Ukraine captain.

Chelsea refused to divulge the precise amount they had paid Milan for the services of the Ukrainian striker, but they acknowledged that it had eclipsed the £24.5m they paid for Lyon’s Michael Essien in 2005.

Shevchenko, former European Footballer of the Year, added: “I am going from one big club to another and joining a team of champions.

“There is a right moment to join a football club and I think I have arrived here at the perfect time.

“The Champions League has to be a realistic target for next season but it is not just about the Champions League. Chelsea is going for their third Premiership as well and I like the club’s mentality of wanting to win every game they play.

“I have followed Mr (Jose) Mourinho’s career carefully for the last few years and have been hugely impressed with the way he manages.

“He puts team ethic before individual expression which is the way I believe great teams are created.

“Had money been my motivation for coming, I would probably have stayed in Milan.

“I am pleased that Chelsea managed to conclude everything before the World Cup – I can go to Germany with a clear mind and proud to be a Chelsea player.”

A delighted Chelsea manager Mourinho said: “Today is a day when the dream became reality. Andriy has always been my first choice for Chelsea since I arrived.

“Before it was not possible, now it is for real. He has great qualities, ambition, discipline, tactical awareness and of course he is a great goalscorer.

“I did not need to meet with him to convince him about Chelsea, in the same way we did not need to talk a lot about why I wanted him. Everybody knows him as a player, tactically he can play in the Chelsea system no doubt.

“Milan is a big club, a great club, but for him to leave Milan for Chelsea is a big statement about where Chelsea is.

“He is a champion and he is joining a team of champions. I have already spoken to some of our players and they are looking forward to playing with him. Great players want to play with other great players.”

Chief Executive Peter Kenyon added: “The deal is a new club transfer record and is a straight cash deal. We are delighted to have signed one of Europe’s greatest goalscorers.”

Milan last night praised Shevchenko for his services to the Serie A team.

A club statement read: “Milan thank Shevchenko, an extraordinary man and striker, for the great amount of excitement he provided in the seven seasons in which he wore the red and black shirt.

“His 173 goals, making him the second top scorer in the club’s history, have contributed in a vital manner to the winning of an Italian league title, an Italian Cup, Super Cup, a Champions League and a European Supercup.”

Shevchenko, born on 29 September 1976, began his career with Dynamo Kyiv, making his debut as a teenager in 1994.

In 1999 he joined Milan and was an huge success – going on to win the European Footballer of the Year prize in 2004.

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