CARVALHO DEAL AGREED
Chelsea Football Club can confirm it has agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Ricardo Carvalho.
The transfer is subject to a medical and the player agreeing personal terms.
Carvalho arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004, following manager Jose Mourinho from Porto after winning the Champions League, and went on to form an excellent partnership at the centre of defence with John Terry after the retirement of Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly.
It soon became clear why Mourinho had wanted him as he showed dominance both in the air and on the ground, and although he sat out two months of his first season with a broken toe he returned to help us tie up the Carling Cup and the league championship, conceding just 15 goals along the way.
After a spell out of the side in 2005/06 he returned to the centre of a near impenetrable defence as we made it back-to-back titles, even making a trademark break from the back to smash home as we sealed the championship with a 3-0 thumping of Manchester United at the Bridge.
The departure of William Gallas and injuries to Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech brought even more responsibility on the Portuguese's shoulders during the next two campaigns but he responded admirably and took the 2007/08 Players' Player award.
Injuries began in 2008/09, hamstring problems limiting him to just 18 appearances in a season he described as personally his worst ever.
During the summer of 2009 he was linked with a move to Inter in Italy and a reunion with Mourinho, but he stayed in west London and began the season by heading home another goal against United in the Community Shield at Wembley, winning the Man of the Match award too.
He then limped off against United in September, and although he made several attempted comebacks during the campaign, he was unable to string together a run of appearances, and Brazilian defender Alex, so often an understudy, looked to have edged ahead of his team-mate as we tied up an historic Double.
In total, Carvalho played 203+7 times for Chelsea, scoring 11 times, and during his time at Stamford Bridge helped us to three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Carling Cups.
Chelsea would like to thank Riccy for his six years of service, and we wish him well in his future career.