Chelsea have completed the signing of Lauren James from Manchester United on a four-year deal.
Sky Sports News understands that the deal – the biggest between Women’s Super League (WSL) clubs – is worth up to £200,000 with bonuses. The initial fee is between £50,000 and £100,000.
One of the reasons behind the transfer was James’ desire to move back down south to be closer to her family. Her brother Reece plays for Chelsea.
On signing for Chelsea, 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.”
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 Women’s Super League goal, putting them on course to a 2-0 win over Liverpool in September 2019.
She helped secure a fourth-place finish in last season’s Women’s Super League, 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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