LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Raul Meireles of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Chelsea and KRC Genk at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Fenerbahce has shored up their central midfield by buying Raul Meireles from Chelsea.
Raul Meireles is leaving Chelsea for Fenerbahce after the two clubs agreed to a deal for the 29-year-old midfielder. While the transfer window closed on Friday for most of the world, it doesn't close in Turkey under Wednesday, allowing Fenerbahce to make this move.
Meireles spent just one season with Chelsea, having joined the Blues from Liverpool on transfer deadline day last summer for £12 million. He helped the Blues to a Champions League title, playing in 11 of their European matches and making 45 total appearances for the club.
Now Meireles joins a Fenerbahce team where he will immediately step in and become first choice. He is an important upgrade to a team that finished nine points off the pace of rivals Galatasaray last season and were edged out in the Champions League playoffs by Spartak Moscow just last week.
Chelsea is going to take a loss on Meireles because there is no way they can get back what they paid for him and certainly not the wages they paid over the last year on top of the fee, but it is tough to blame them for selling Meireles. A 29-year-old isn't ever going to fetch them much and while he is involved at Chelsea, playing in all three of their matches this season, he isn't a vital player. He has started just one of Chelsea's matches and that was probably going to be his role for the rest of the season.
With Meireles out, Chelsea are going to be thin on options in their double pivot. John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard are their first choice pairing, but beyond that they only have Oriol Romeu, along with Ramires and Oscar, both of whom are better further up the pitch.