Tiago Mendes made a return to Stamford Bridge last season when Atlético Madrid came to visit for the second leg of the Champions League semifinal and was widely expected to make the switch permanent this summer. A free agent, a former trusted henchman of Jose Mourinho and a central midfielder? It seemed like destiny.
The move hovered around various stages of near-completion for a while before fading away in the wake of three major signings. And now it is definitely dead. From the Atleti website:
Tiago Cardoso Mendes will stay with our team after signing for two more seasons due to the agreement reached with the Club.
I think we can now definitively say that Tiago was in fact the strangest signing of the summer, mostly because he never actually signed. It's unclear whether or not Mourinho will still be looking to strengthen central midfield or whether he'll trust in Oriol Romeu and Marco van Ginkel to serve as depth this season.