| 13.4°C Dublin

Chelsea offload Meireles to Fenerbache

RAUL Meireles' Chelsea career ended after barely a year yesterday after he signed for Fenerbache on a four-year deal.

Meireles only moved to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool for a reported £12million on transfer deadline day last year, signing a four-year contract. Since then, the Portugal international has struggled to hit top form and has been in and out of the starting line-up, especially after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as manager in March.

Meireles was reportedly unhappy with the departure of his former boss at Porto and was immediately linked with a move away.

He did go on to play a key part in Chelsea's Champions League triumph but speculation over his future persisted and there were reports in the past week that Fenerbahce were preparing an £8million bid for him.

Letting the all-action Meireles go would be a gamble by Chelsea, whose midfield was completely overrun by Atletico Madrid in Friday night's UEFA Super Cup debacle.

That evening saw them allow Michael Essien to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan.

With Josh McEachran also out on loan, they are arguably short of cover for John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard in the anchorman positions.

Meireles departure could see Ramires, who Chelsea successfully reinvented as an attacking midfielder, return to a more defensive role.

Losing Meireles would also deprive Fernando Torres of the former Liverpool team-mate who was brought to the club to help get him firing.

But the arrival of Eden Hazard appears to have had the desired effect, with the Spaniard scoring three times in his first five games this season.

Torres said: "Now I am looking for new personal targets, which is to get as many goals as possible and, hopefully, I will score more than I did in my best season at Liverpool."