Emerson Palmieri (left) celebrates with his Roma teammates after scoring in a Europa League match. Photo: EPA/MANUEL BRUQUE
Emerson Palmieri (left) celebrates with his Roma teammates after scoring in a Europa League match. Photo: EPA/MANUEL BRUQUE
Marc Bartra (left) reacts during a game. Photo: REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler
Marc Bartra (left) reacts during a game. Photo: REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

LONDON - Chelsea have secured the signing of left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma on a four-and-a-half year deal, the Premier League champions said.

The 23-year-old played just twice for Roma this season after missing the first three months of the campaign with a serious knee injury.

"I came here because it's a great team with a great history. Today I am realising one of my dreams to pull on the shirt of such a great club," Emerson told the Chelsea website.

"English football is something I have been watching since I was 15 years old. It is a really beautiful game over here but it is going to be even more beautiful to play it."

The Brazil-born defender, who joined Roma from Santos in 2015, obtained Italian citizenship last year and was called up to the Italy squad by then coach Gian Piero Ventura in May.

But he was injured on the final weekend of the Serie A season and was forced to withdraw from the squad.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra, injured in last year's bomb attack on the team bus, has signed for Real Betis, the Spanish club announced.

"Real Betis Balompie has signed Marc Bartra, from BVB Dortmund. The Catalan player has signed a contract with the Green-and-White club until 2023," Betis said in a statement.

"I'm coming eager and excited," Bartra said. "I'm really excited to be in such a big club as Betis is. I'm ambitious and eager to meet my new teammates.

"Since my name came up as a possible candidate to come here, I started to feel the love through social media, a lot. I even have goose bumps," he added. 

On Monday, Bartra was in a German court to testify in the trial of Sergei Wenergold, accused of the April 11, 2017 attack on the Dortmund bus.

Bartra, who suffered a fractured wrist, told the court he had had nightmares since the traumatic event, which left him in hospital for five "terrible" days.

He said the attack had "changed my life".

Wenergold, a German-Russian, has admitted to remotely setting off three explosions in an elaborate bid to make a fortune on the stock market.

Bartra began his career at Barcelona in 2011-12 but after struggling to get playing time alongside Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano he left for Dortmund in 2016.

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