- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

LONDON (AP) - Europe’s top clubs shunned any last-minute scramble for players on the final trading day of the season Monday, with Premier League leader Chelsea making the only major deal by completing formalities to sign Juan Cuadrado.

The 26-year-old winger left Fiorentina for around $40 million on a 4 1/2-deal as Chelsea offloaded Andre Schuerrle to German side Wolfsburg.

Cuadrado, who starred at the World Cup for Colombia, scored five goals in 17 matches for Fiorentina this season. He joins a Chelsea side competing for titles in the Premier League and Champions League, although the first chance for silverware comes in the March 1 League Cup final against Tottenham.

“This is a great club and honestly it is like a dream to join the Chelsea family and to know that the manager believes in me,” Cuadrado said.

Manchester United vice-captain Darren Fletcher was allowed to join West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer as the transfer window closed.

The 31-year-old midfielder has spent his entire career at United, making 342 appearances and winning the league five times, but he has been unable to earn him a place in Louis van Gaal’s starting lineup this season.

It was a busy transfer deadline day at Tottenham which started by tying its breakthrough player of the season to a new contract. The 21-year-old striker Harry Kane signed a deal through 2020 after scoring 20 goals in all competitions this campaign.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s Tottenham career is over after being released from his contract. The defender has not played for the club since May 2013 and spent last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers.

Winger Aaron Lennon was sent on loan to Everton until the end of the season after losing his place in the team and starting only three league matches this season.

Southampton, which is fourth in the league, added midfielder Filip Djuricic to the squad for the rest of the season on a loan deal from Benfica. And defender Ryan Bertrand’s loan move from Chelsea was made permanent.

In south London, Crystal Palace signed up two wingers.

Wilfried Zaha was already on loan from Manchester United, but has now permanently rejoined the club he left in 2013 on a 5½-year deal. Zaha, who was Alex Ferguson’s last signing as Manchester United manager, made only four appearances for the club. South Korea international Lee Chung-Yong joined Palace from Bolton on a contract through 2018.

Here is a look at the other key activity on deadline-day in parts of Europe:

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ITALY

As Juventus re-signed Alessandro Matri on loan from AC Milan, Sebastian Giovinco was sent on loan to Major League Soccer team Toronto.

Monday also saw several other players rejoin former clubs, with Luca Antonelli returning to AC Milan, Marco Borriello signing up for a third spell at Genoa and Davide Santon moving back to Inter Milan on loan from Newcastle.

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FRANCE

Marseille, which is locked in a three-way battle for the French title with Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, strengthened its attacking options by signing winger Lucas Ocampos on loan from Monaco.

PSG, whose ambitions are slowed by UEFA Financial Fair Play sanctions, did not invest a single euro on new players in the transfer window after selling midfielder Clement Chantome to Bordeaux for a reported fee of 750,000 euros ($851,000).

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GERMANY

Schuerrle’s deal to return to the Bundesliga underscores Wolfsburg’s ambition to become Bayern Munich’s closest challenger in the German league and a permanent contender in the Champions League. Wolfsburg stunned Bayern 4-1 to kick off the second half of the season on Friday to deal the defending champion its first defeat.

Schuerrle signed through 2019, Wolfsburg said.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but German media speculated that Wolfsburg paid a club record 30 million euros ($34 million) for Schuerrle.


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