IT’S OFFICIAL: Chelsea Defender joins Bristol City

City have recruited Tomas Kalas to their defensive ranks on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

The versatile 25-year-old can play either as a right-back or centre-back.

He becomes Lee Johnson’s ninth signing of the summer, with the loan window remaining open until the end of August.

The City head coach said: “Tomas’ signing shows the ambition that Bristol City have because there was a lot of interest and we beat a number of Championship and top European clubs to get him.

“The experience Tomas brings to this football club will be invaluable and I am really looking forward to working with him.

“He has already proven himself at Championship level and I have no doubts that he can help us in our bid to reach new heights.”

City chief executive officer Mark Ashton said: “We are delighted to have furthered the relationship we have had with Chelsea over the last few years with the signings of Tammy Abraham, Jay Dasilva and now Tomas.

“There was a lot of interest from other clubs but Tomas was someone Lee wanted and the relationship with Chelsea has worked well for both clubs and we hope it continues.”

After signing for Chelsea in 2010, Kalas rejoined former side Sigma Olomouc before spending two seasons at Vitesse Arnhem.

He spent the first of two loan spells at FC Cologne before he was recalled to his parent club and made his Chelsea debut in a 2-0 win against Arsenal in October 2013.

He would return to the German club on loan though, before he was loaned to Middlesbrough, where Kalas helped the Smoggies reach the Premier League after winning promotion from the Championship in 2015/16.

He then spent the 2016/17 campaign and last season with Fulham, who he also helped win promotion to the top flight.

The 25-year-old, who plays centre-back or right-back, has previously contributed to Middlesborough and Fulham’s promotion campaigns.

“It would be nice to keep on going that way and at least get into the play-offs with Bristol City and to try and get promoted,” said Kalas.

“I’m very excited to get my situation sorted and join a club that is willing to play football. When I was at Fulham we met teams like Bristol City so I am glad that I am joining a club who want to play football and not just kick long balls.”