Chelsea sign Lauren James from Man United

Lauren James
Lauren James

Agency Report

Chelsea have completed the signing of Lauren James from Manchester United on a four-year deal.

Sky Sports News reports that the deal for the forward – the biggest between Women's Super League (WSL) clubs – is worth up to £200,000 with bonuses. The initial fee is in the region of £70,000.

One of the reasons behind the transfer was the 19-year-old's desire to move back down south to be closer to her family. Her brother Reece plays for Chelsea.

James was a part of the United side that secured fourth place in the WSL last season.

On signing for the WSL champions, James said, "It's a great feeling to come back home, to a great club, the club I started at the age of six. To be able to play for the first team now and come back here to Emma and the rest of the group is a good feeling.

"I'm excited to get started and I can't wait to meet all the fans at Kingsmeadow when the new season kicks in."

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes added, "Lauren is an exciting, young talent who we have admired for a while.

"When the opportunity came up to sign her, we felt now was the right time to bring her back to the club.

"We're excited to see how she develops in the coming years and look forward to welcoming her to pre-season training."

James originally joined United from Arsenal in 2017 aged 16, becoming the second-youngest player in the side's history.

She made an instant impact, scoring 14 goals as they won promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

James also scored United's first WSL goal, putting them on course to a 2-0 win over Liverpool in September 2019, and helped secure a fourth-place finish last season, 10 points behind champions Chelsea.

James has represented England at U17 and U19 level and was called into a senior training camp in November.

Her move comes on the same day Chelsea defender Hannah Blundell swapped the west London club for Manchester United.

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