Thursday 29 September 2016

Chelsea complete deal for Reading defender Michael Hector

Published 01/09/2015 | 11:54

New Chelsea signing Michael Hector will spend the season on loan at Reading
New Chelsea signing Michael Hector will spend the season on loan at Reading

Chelsea have signed Michael Hector from Reading, where the defender will remain for the season as one of the Premier League champions' 33 loan players.

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Hector joined Nantes defender Papy Djilobodji in signing for Chelsea on transfer deadline day.

Senegal international Djilobodji will remain with the first-team squad after signing a four-year deal, but the 23-year-old Hector will continue playing at the Madejski Stadium.

"Chelsea Football Club have today completed the signing of Michael Hector from Reading," Chelsea said on their official website.

"The 23-year-old centre-back, who has signed a five-year-contract, will return to Reading and spend the remainder of this season on loan at the Madejski Stadium."

Hector is a boyhood Chelsea supporter, a Jamaica international and another defensive reinforcement, but he will not play for Jose Mourinho's side this season.

He made his Reading debut in January 2014, aged 21, and moves for a reported fee of £4million, 10 per cent of the fee said to be required to prise John Stones from Everton.

Chelsea made their move for Djilobodji after being repeatedly rebuffed by Everton over Stones, a player for whom Chelsea could return in January or next summer.

The 26-year-old Djilobodji said on chelseafc.com: "I'm very happy to sign for a big club like Chelsea and I want to do my best to help the team win titles. I want to thank the club for giving me this opportunity."

Hector's arrival and swift departure takes the number of Chelsea loanees to 33.

Lucas Piazon is another Chelsea player on loan at Reading, who are managed by former Blues coach Steve Clarke.

Victor Moses and Islam Feruz signed loan deals with West Ham and Hibernian, respectively, on Tuesday.

Nathaniel Chalobah followed, with Serie A side Napoli confirming his arrival on loan.

Moses signed a four-year deal before moving to West Ham while Izzy Brown, currently on loan for the season at Vitesse Arnhem in Holland, also signed a four-year contract.

Chelsea were roundly praised for their early purchases in the summer of 2014 of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, but many supporters will be underwhelmed by this summer's transfer activity.

Rumoured interest in Paul Pogba of Juventus refuses to subside, but the astronomical fee required to land the Frenchman - in the region of £70million - was not paid before Tuesday's deadline.

And Everton held firm in holding on to Stones.

The Blues have signed goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, left-back Baba Rahman and striker Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco - all like-for-like replacements for the departed Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba.

Pedro was added from Barcelona and Brazilian teenager Kenedy joined.

Mourinho insisted Chelsea would not panic in the closing hours of the transfer window and Djilobodji appears likely to be the only first-team acquisition.

The Blues have conceded nine goals in four games in accruing four points to sit eight adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Djilobodji had one year remaining on his Nantes contract and his switch to Chelsea was unexpected.

Reports in the French media on Monday said the deal had been around three million euros (£2.2m) for Djilobodji.

It has been reported other Premier League clubs rejected the opportunity to sign him, but now he is playing for the defending champions and in the Champions League.

He may represent little more than a fall-back option as his pedigree is not quite at the standard Mourinho would wish for.

Press Association

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