Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas has joined Fulham on a season-long loan, both clubs have announced.
Kalas was expected to secure a third spell at Middlesbrough after helping Aitor Karanka's men win promotion to the Premier League last season. And on Wednesday his agent Mithat Halis confirmed that Boro harboured an interest in signing the 23-year-old again.
But the Czech Republic international will now be staying in West London after agreeing a temporary move to Craven Cottage, where he will be managed by former Chelsea midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic.
"Fulham were really active, trying to reach me, calling me, and I was quite happy to see that interest," Kalas told Fulham's official website after the deal was announced. "I could really see that the club and the manager wants me."
BREAKING: Tomas Kalas has joined the Whites from Chelsea on a season long loan!
- Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) July 13, 2016
Asked what his aspirations with Fulham are for this season, Kalas replied: "Hopefully promotion or at least the playoffs.
"When I was at Middlesbrough nobody expected us in the playoffs, and after the two seasons Fulham have had, no one expects them to be that high. But why not? After two bad seasons should come the better one."
Kalas joined Chelsea from Sigma Olomouc in July 2010 and made his Premier League debut in April 2014, playing the full 90 minutes and impressing as the Blues derailed Liverpool's title charge with a dramatic 2-0 win at Anfield.
But the 23-year-old has since played all of his first-team football on loan at Cologne and Middlesbrough, and missed out on selection for the Czech Republic squad that exited at the group stage of Euro 2016.