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CHELSEA SHRUG THEIR SHOULDERS AT £3.5m BILL for sturridge

Chelsea insist they have no complaints after being ordered to pay £3.5m for striker Daniel Sturridge.

A Premier League tribunal decreed yesterday that the Blues will have to pay the initial price for the player who joined them from Manchester City last summer.

But the eventual fee could be as high as £6.5m depending on the striker's appearances at club and international level.

However, the Premier League leaders insist they are happy with the tribunal outcome -- adding that the tribunal fee was close to their original offer.

A club statement read: "We are content with the outcome of today's tribunal regarding Daniel Sturridge's transfer.

"The initial fee is very close to what we first offered. Any subsequent payments are directly linked to the success of the player, and that is satisfactory to us."



maximum

Chelsea signed Sturridge last summer after his contract at Eastlands expired, and had hoped to pay a maximum of £3m for him.

City were seeking up to £9m compensation after bringing him through the ranks. The initial £3.5m will be topped up based on Sturridge's appearances for Chelsea and the senior England team.

Sturridge, who has played for the junior national sides up to U21 level, has made eight appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, scoring two goals.

Meanwhile, Chelsea's Juliano Belletti has revealed he is revelling in his midfield role in the absence of African Nations Cup players Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi.

Belletti was handed the holding role, normally the preserve of Essien or Obi, against Watford in the 5-0 FA Cup third-round victory.

Now the 33-year-old, who initially joined the Blues as a full-back, has revealed how much he has enjoyed the switch to a more central role.

"I think now at Chelsea I like to play in midfield because there is so much quality," said Belletti. "It is not a difficult job for me because the other players have quality and experience, it is easy to work in that position.

"In defence you work hard of course, you are just one player in front of the defence, but with the ball we can do our job, it is simple."

Belletti was first used in the holding role during the ill-fated reign of Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. But current coach Carlo Ancelotti is equally as trusting with the Brazilian.

"It is a little different because in Brazil there are two players in front of defence in the same position, but the idea is the same, help the defence and when you have the ball you try to play," added Belletti.

"I played there in pre-season in America and I spoke with Carlo after pre-season and said I can help the team, not just as a right-back, but also in midfield in the absence of Mikel and Essien."


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