Chelsea have reportedly signed former player and current Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago on a free transfer.
As reported by Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has struck a deal to bring the 33-year-old Portuguese back to Stamford Bridge:
Chelsea have agreed a surprise deal to bring back Portuguese midfielder Tiago.
The 33-year-old has starred for Atletico Madrid in this past season, culminating in the Spanish league title and defeat in the Champions League final to Real Madrid, yet he is out of contract.
Tiago was not prepared to sign a new contract with the Madrid outfit despite its enormous success this season, per Spanish sports newspaper AS:
Tiago has decided not to renew terms with Atleti. He'll be moving on in the summer, possible Chelsea return? pic.twitter.com/pn5kUxm6pr— AS English (@English_AS) May 27, 2014
He likely returns to west London alongside Atleti teammate Diego Costa, who will also be joining Chelsea in the summer, per CNN's Ben Fairthorne:
Chelsea have all personal terms with Costa agreed. Obviously no announcement before CL final, but one due before World Cup.— Ben Fairthorne (@BFairthorne) May 18, 2014
Tiago made 23 La Liga appearances for Atletico as they claimed the Spanish title for the first time since 1996, holding title rivals Barcelona to a 1-1 final-day draw to triumph.
He also played all 120 minutes of Atletico's 4-1 extra-time defeat to city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon on Saturday, per BBC Sport.
The former Portugal international plied his trade at Stamford Bridge for just one season, the Premier League-winning 2004-05 campaign under Mourinho, before moving on to Lyon.
However, he was a key player for the Blues that season, making 34 league appearances and only losing once, as well as contributing to several goals per OptaJean:
7 - Tiago has been involved in 7 goals (4 goals, 3 assists) in 34 Premier League games played for Chelsea in 2004/05. Come-back.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 27, 2014
Mourinho is not signing the 33-year-old for the long term, but Tiago should provide decent cover in midfield as well as a defensive sensibility much lauded by the Portuguese manager.
He will be a loss to Atletico, where he has been for three seasons, but the Spanish champions are prepared to promote 19-year-old Saul Niguez as his replacement, per Jones' piece.
Is Tiago a good signing for Chelsea?
It is a sensible piece of business by Mourinho, as no transfer fee is required and Tiago will add depth to his squad as well as previous experience of both Chelsea and the Premier League.
The Blues finished third in the league this season, and they will be looking to bring in more players in an attempt to improve on that return in the coming campaign.
However, with the season barely finished and the deals for Tiago and Costa reportedly all but done, the west London outfit has made good early progress in the summer transfer window.