Chelsea complete Ben Haim deal
Chelsea have made it a hat-trick of free transfers for coach Jose Mourinho after landing Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim.
Ben Haim follows Steve Sidwell and Claudio Pizarro in moving to Stamford Bridge for nothing as Chelsea continue to bolster their squad ahead of next season.
The 25-year-old was out of contract at the Reebok Stadium and former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce was hoping to persuade the defender to link-up with him again at Newcastle.
But Ben Haim, who came close to signing for Chelsea in the January transfer window, opted to sign a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge instead.
Chelsea said in a statement: "We can confirm we have completed the signing of Tal Ben Haim.
"The Israel international, formerly at Bolton where he was out of contract, completed his medical and agreed personal terms today on a four-year deal.
"He becomes the third new addition to the first team squad following Claudio Pizarro's signing earlier this month and the agreement that Steven Sidwell will join on July 1."
Ben Haim spent three years at Bolton, where his versatility in defence and aerial ability gained him 110 appearances.
He was a regular in the Trotters' UEFA Cup campaign two seasons ago during which he was captain against Besiktas.
Previously, he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in his homeland and has made 22 appearances for the Israel national team.
Ben Haim will join up with the Blues for the pre-season visit to the United States and he is now likely to be followed by the arrival of Alex, a player Chelsea reportedly already own, from PSV Eindhoven.
Newcastle boss Allardyce admitted earlier in the day that he had lost his bid to persuade the Israel defender to join him on Tyneside.
He said: "I think we've had a long, hard go this week, but the lure of Chelsea and the Champions League for Tal has perhaps just pipped me at the post.
"I'm sad I can't bring him here and work with him again. I like the lad an awful lot and we know each other really well. But, like I said, the lure of Chelsea is a big one."