John Mikel Obi has signed for Middlesbrough until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old became a free agent in November after a two-year spell in China with Tianjin Teda and will boost the promotion chances of the Championship club.
Mikel, who spent 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, passed his medical with Tony Pulis’ side without a hitch after agreeing personal terms.
He told the club’s website: ‘For me it’s looking at the project.
‘I spoke to a few clubs and I also spoke to Tony [Pulis], had a good chat with him.
‘He’s told me where he wants to go with it and it definitely fits with what I want to do.
‘The club wants to get promoted so hopefully I’m here to help in any way I can.
‘It’s a family club and this is what I want. I like stability and this is why I was at Chelsea for a very long time.’
Pulis added: ‘I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality.
‘He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here be a part of what we are looking to achieve.’
Clubs across Europe were interested in signing Mikel, including Roma and Wolfsburg so this could be regarded as a coup for Boro.
The Nigeria international was desperate to seal a move back to England as his wife and two young children remained in the United Kingdom whilst he worked in the Chinese Super League.
He captained his country in the World Cup last year and will be hoping to lead them in the Africa Cup of Nations this summer.
Crystal Palace were another club linked with a move but Mikel will bolster Pulis’ ranks.
A part of the furniture for more than a decade at Chelsea, he won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the League Cup at the club.
He also tasted success on the biggest stage with the Blues as he won both the Champions League and Europa League.
Middlesbrough are currently fifth in the Championship and Mikel is the second signing of the transfer window after Rajiv van La Parra arrived on loan from Huddersfield.