PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain extended its spending spree by signing Brazilian defender Alex on Friday, taking the French club’s outlay this season to nearly €100 million ($143 million) and with another signing still possible before the transfer window shuts.
Alex signed a 2 1/2-year deal to move from Chelsea, with the transfer fee widely reported to be worth €5 million ($7.1 million).
“Everywhere I’ve played I’ve won trophies and titles and I want to do that here,” Alex said. “I’m in a big club and I’m happy with this. I appreciate the size of this club, which I have seen on TV, and it made me want to join.”
The 29-year-old centre back has played only three English Premier League games for Chelsea this season. He fell out of favour with coach Andre Villas-Boas and has not played since the League Cup quarterfinal loss to Liverpool two months ago.
Speaking through an interpreter, Alex touched briefly upon his Chelsea situation, saying only that Villas-Boas “didn’t like my way of playing football much” and that he had spent recent weeks just “wanting to leave Chelsea.”
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti knows Alex well from his time at Chelsea. The rugged defender was part of the team that won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Ancelotti two seasons ago.
“He certainly played a part in me coming here. It’s very important to feel that trust,” Alex said. “Ancelotti has taken me with him to a big club.”
Earlier this month, PSG signed Brazilian defender Maxwell from Barcelona to lift its spending up to €90 million ($129 million).
PSG sporting director Leonardo said the club’s spending may not end yet until the window shuts on Jan. 31. With seemingly limitless funds from the club’s Qatari backers, PSG is interested in signing Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta from Inter Milan.
Motta has expressed an interest in joining PSG, Leonardo said, without saying whether the move is close to completion.
Alex, who has 17 caps for Brazil and also played for Santos and PSV Eindhoven, scored seven league goals in 86 games for Chelsea. His heading ability makes him a threat from corners and he often tried his luck with powerful free kicks.
“Alex was a good opportunity for us,” Ancelotti said. “He’s a fantastic player and he wanted to come to us, and he’s also a great bloke.”
After Maxwell and winger Nene, Alex becomes the third Brazilian in PSG’s squad and the fourth South American, along with Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore.
PSG broke the French transfer record when it signed Pastore from Palermo in the off-season for €42 million ($60 million).
PSG is first in the French league, leading second-place Montpellier by three points ahead of the weekend’s matches.
Alex, who is still short of match fitness, was not selected in PSG’s squad for Saturday’s league match at Brest.