LONDON // John Terry believes any Premier League teams who think Chelsea have become a soft touch will be changing their minds following the champions' record-breaking signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz.
Terry says the £75million (Dh442.5m) double-transfer proves that Chelsea are a force again in the transfer market, having reined in their spending in recent years.
Chelsea trail Manchester United, the league leaders, by 10 points with 14 games to go, but Terry thinks the new arrivals have given everyone at the club a boost.
"To sign Torres and Luiz is a huge statement. It sets a massive tone," said Terry, the Chelsea captain. "From a club point of view, reading things like the Bolton quotes that they didn't fear Chelsea any more - we say don't fear us at your peril. It has let everyone know we're in the market again, we're buying and competing with Manchester City, who have been spending an awful lot."
Torres and Luiz were signed too late on transfer deadline day to play in Tuesday night's 4-2 win at Sunderland.
But both will be available for Sunday's clash with Torres's former club Liverpool.
"There is a buzz around the camp and it is great that we're in the market again for two massive signings," Terry said. "No one is getting too carried away but everyone is upbeat."
Terry reckons it is not only Chelsea's rivals who will be worried, with the Stamford Bridge players knowing their places in the team are now under threat.
He said: "Everyone is fighting for places with some big games coming up. For myself, for the other defenders and the strikers it is very good competition and that's very important at a big club. It gives the manager great options."
Top transfers in the English Premier League this January
Fernando Torres, striker, Liverpool to Chelsea £50m
Andy Carroll, striker, Newcastle United to Liverpool, £35 million
Edin Dzeko, striker, Wolfsburg to Manchester City, £27 million
Luiz Suarez, striker, Ajax Amsterdam to Liverpool, £22.8 million
David Luiz, defender, Benfica to Chelsea, £21.8 million
Darren Bent, striker, Sunderland to Aston Villa, £18 million