Stoke have completed the club-record signing of midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto in an £18.3m deal.
The 23-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half year deal at the Britannia Stadium just a few months after moving to Portugal in a £15m deal from Marseille last summer.
The Belgian-born former France U21 international is seen as an ideal replacement for Steven N’Zonzi, who joined Spanish club Sevilla for £7m in July, and the deal breaks the Potters’ previous record of the £12m they spent signing Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan last summer.
“He’s a good young player with good power, good ability on the ball, a good range of passing and will add to the quality we already have,” Stoke manager Mark Hughes said.
“Seeing him first hand [when Stoke played Porto in a friendly in Germany last summer] resonated with me when it was mooted he may be available in this window.
“We tried to speak to the right people, it’s not something we’ve just jumped into in the last month.”
Niall Quinn and Paul Merson give their reaction to the Imbula deal
Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said: “Giannelli is a player we have been trailing for some time and we are delighted to have concluded a deal to sign him.
“At one stage it looked unlikely that we would be able to get the deal over the line but things accelerated quickly earlier today and Giannelli is really excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League with us.”