Premiership: Chelsea confirm Petit signing

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of £6m-rated Emmanuel Petit from

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of £6m-rated Emmanuel Petit from

Barcelona - and they have the documentation to prove it.

It is likely to scupper Manchester United’s hopes of an 11th-hour swoop for

the French midfield star.

According to Chelsea, Petit will officially become their player on Monday,

July 1.

Colin Hutchinson, managing director at Stamford Bridge, said that Chelsea

had signed a pre-contract agreement with both the Spanish club and Petit.

Copies of the signed contracts have also been lodged with the Football

Association and the FA Premier League.

Chelsea kept details of the deal under wraps to comply with the wishes of

the Catalan club who did not want it to affect their challenge to qualify

for the Champions League next season.

‘‘Our position is quite clear,’’ Hutchinson said. ‘‘We’ve got a signed

contract with Barcelona and with Petit. To cover ourselves, we lodged copies

of these pre-contracts with the FA and the FA Premier League two weeks ago.

‘‘We have got an agreement which kicks in on July 1 when we fully expect

him to be a Chelsea player.’’

The London club revealed that Petit had already agreed to join Chelsea after

Manchester United were linked with a move for the former Arsenal star over

the weekend.

Hutchinson insisted United would be wasting their time with any attempt to

snatch Petit from their grasp and had taken the precaution of sending copies

of the pre-contract agreement to the FA to prevent any other club from

hijacking the deal at the 11th hour.

Petit, 31 in September, moved to Spain from Highbury along with Dutch winger

Marc Overmars in a £30m double deal last summer.

But the Frenchman failed to settle in Spain and could not command a regular

first team place at the Nou Camp.

He came on as a second-half substitute in the thrilling 3-2 win over

Valencia which guaranteed Barca a place in next season’s Champions League.

However, he also picked-up a minor hamstring strain in the same game and was

not expected to play any further part in Barcelona’s season.

Petit’s arrival will take Chelsea’s summer spending spree to around £23m and

that figure is set to rise even further as the club expect to complete

further transfer deals over the next few weeks.

Confirmation of Petit’s imminent arrival at Stamford Bridge follows the

addition to manager Claudio Ranieri’s squad of Marseille defender William

Gallas for £6m and England midfielder Frank Lampard from West Ham for £11m.

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