1. ITV Report

Bristol City sign Chelsea’s longest-serving player Tomas Kalas for club-record fee

Tomas Kalas with Bristol City coach Lee Johnson (left) and chief executive Mark Ashton. Credit: Bristol City Football Club

Bristol City have signed defender Tomas Kalas from Chelsea for a club-record fee.

The 26-year-old Czech Republic international signed for the Robins on a permanent basis following a season-long loan.

Kalas was on the books at Chelsea for nine years - making him the longest-serving Blues player - but only made four first-team appearances.

Kalas was Chelsea's longest-serving player. Credit: Bristol City Football Club

The centre-back, who featured 41 times for City last season, has agreed a four-year contract with the Ashton Gate side.

The fee paid to secure Kalas’ services has not been disclosed but it is thought to be in the region of £8million, which is a club record.

‘This was the right move for me’ - Kalas on signing for City

I knew where I was going, what I could expect and the manager and the boys know what to expect from me. It was easier than joining a new club and having to get used to everyone and everything again. I hope to prove to everyone that I am worth being here. I appreciate the opportunity to show to everyone that I can play football to help the club go where it wants to be and that is the promised land.

– Tomas Kalas, Bristol City's record signing

All four of Kalas' outings for Chelsea came under Jose Mourinho in the 2013-14 season.

He had loan spells with Sigma Olomouc, Vitesse Arnhem, Cologne, Middlesbrough and Fulham before his switch to Bristol City last summer.

Kalas made 41 appearances for the Robins last season. Credit: Bristol City Football Club

City head coach Lee Johnson described Kalas as a “fantastic player with a winning mentality”.

We saw last season the qualities he brings and Tomas is exactly the type of player we want to build our team around.

Not only is he a fantastic footballer but someone with a winning mentality.

A lot of credit should go to Mark Ashton, Jon Lansdown and the City Board for the hard work in making this happen.

– Lee Johnson, head coach