MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Chelsea completed the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City on Wednesday, with the winger signing a five-year deal.
Sterling earlier bid farewell to City after seven seasons in Manchester that included four Premier League titles. His transfer to Chelsea was reportedly worth 47.5 million pounds ($56.5 million) and boosts the London club’s attacking options after striker Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on loan.
“Raheem Sterling is a serial winner and his signing is an important step in strengthening our squad, Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s new co-controlling owner and chairman, said in a statement.
Sterling had already flown out to Los Angeles to join up with Chelsea on its preseason tour and sign the new deal.
The England attacking midfielder posted an emotional message on social media, along with a video of highlights of his time at City.
“Seven seasons, eleven major trophies, a lifetime of memories,” it read. “To the coaching staff who have played a massive role in my development over the years, to my teammates who have become more than just those I share a pitch with, to the backroom staff, to the office staff, to the fans who have tirelessly supported the team, and to everyone involved with Manchester City, my respect for you couldn’t be greater.
“What a ride it’s been.”
Sterling joined City from Liverpool in 2015 for a fee of nearly 50 million pounds, making him then the most expensive English player of all time.
The 27-year-old Sterling helped City to win four league titles and scored 131 goals in 339 games across all competitions. He was in-and-out of the team last season and did not start either leg of the Champions League semifinal loss to Real Madrid or the Premier League title-clincher against Aston Villa on the final day.
“I am thankful for the ups and the downs,” Sterling added in his post. “As it’s the downs that have, at times, tested my strength and resolve, and enabled me to stand here in front of you as the best possible version of myself.
“I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old, today, I leave as a man.”
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