Raul Meireles admits timing of his transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea was strange

The Portuguese midfielder believes the late timing of his move to Stamford Bridge was baffling but is excited to link up with Andre Villas-Boas
New Chelsea signing Raul Meireles has admitted that the timing of his deadline day move from Liverpool was strange given that he knew about the interest from the Blues days beforehand. The midfielder also insisted that manager Andre Villas-Boas was a key factor behind his decision to move to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues had looked to have completed their transfer business for the summer late last Wednesday when without any initial warning, the Portuguese midfielder was reported to have handed a transfer request in at Anfield and within an hour, a Chelsea statement had confirmed that Meireles had joined the club.

The 28-year-old admits he was baffled by the timing of the deal but was delighted to team up with his former manager.

“It was strange, [the last few days] because I knew of the interest of Chelsea, and the interest of the coach, and it was a pleasure to come to this club but it was strange because it was on the last day,” Meireles told the club's official website.

“The people think that I wanted to leave [Liverpool] and it is only because Chelsea wanted me. For Andre to want me, that is why I wanted to go.”

Meireles has been in a position similar to this before, his transfer from Porto to Liverpool last season bared an uncanny resemblance to this year’s move to Chelsea and the midfielder revealed it was a decision he was glad to have made.

“It was similar because it happened late,” he added.

“It was different because when I was in Porto, I knew that I wanted to go and the club wanted to sell me, and I only had to wait for the right choice.

“I made the right choice last year to come to England and to come to Liverpool and this year was different because I knew that I didn't want to leave Liverpool. I felt that the new owners didn't want to sell me, but when I knew that Chelsea and Andre wanted me it convinced me.”

Meireles joins the Blues with the club already having a Portuguese contingent within their ranks including goalkeeper Hilario, full-back Jose Bosingwa, as well as Brazilian pair David Luiz and Ramires who he knows from the Portuguese Superliga.

“I have a lot of friends here, Portuguese players that I know from Porto and the national team, and Jose Bosingwa helped me a lot in these first days," he continued.

"I know that Chelsea is a great club, one of the best clubs in the world, and it is not too difficult to convince me to come.

“Paulo [Ferreira] and Hilario I know well, and Ramires and David Luiz I know from the Portuguese League where they did a very good job in Benfica.

“They were very difficult opponents," he revealed "Ramires only played one year in Portugal and that year they won the championship and he is a fantastic footballer. David Luiz also was very good. We talk the same language so now it is easy.”

Meireles believes he can play anywhere across the centre of the pitch and has done so for Porto and Liverpool but he is happy to play where Villas-Boas prefers him and has insisted that he will do his best for the side.

“I can play all the places in midfield. Last year in Liverpool I played a new position for me, it was more like a winger. I like to play in midfield but for me it is more important that I play and I help the team so if the coach wants to put me in another place, I want to do my job and do my job well.

“In the national team and in Porto I played mostly in a 4-3-3, on the right or the left.”