Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel has joined Premier League rivals Stoke City on a season-long loan.
The Netherlands international becomes Stoke’s fourth signing of the close-season after Philipp Wollscheid joined on a permanent basis, while Jakob Haugaard and Joselu have also switched to the Britannia Stadium.
Van Ginkel moved to Chelsea from Vitesse in July 2013, but a serious knee injury in September of that year hindered his progress.
Subsequently, the 22-year-old was shipped out on loan to Milan last season and he made 17 Serie A appearances during his time at San Siro.
The deal is sure to increase speculation that Asmir Begovic will move in the opposite direction to Stamford Bridge.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper has been linked with a move to the Premier League champions for several weeks after contract talks stalled with the Staffordshire club.
Van Ginkel was reported to be one of several players Stoke were interested in as a makeweight for Begovic’s exit.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes, the former Chelsea striker, told the club’s official website: “Marco is the kind of player we have been looking to bring to the club.
“He will bring great energy to the side and is capable of scoring goals from midfield, as he showed during his time with Vitesse.
“I’m looking forward to him linking up with the squad in Singapore and getting the chance to work with him on the training ground and see him in action in the Barclays Asia Trophy.”
Tony Scholes, Stoke chief executive, added: “Marco is keen to make a big impression in the Premier League and believes he can do that with Stoke City.”