(Update 1: Re-leads with Sterling’s move to Chelsea, edits slug, headline)
London, Jul 13 (EFE).- Raheem Sterling on Wednesday joined Chelsea on a five-year contract, hours after bidding farewell to Manchester City, where he played for the past seven seasons.
The London club have reportedly paid 47.5 million pounds (55 million euros) for the services of the English Jamaican-born forward who started his professional career at Liverpool.
During his five years at City, Sterling bagged 131 goals and 94 assists in 339 games in all competitions to help the club to 11 titles, including four Premier League championships.
“I’ve obviously achieved a lot in my career so far, but there is still so much more to achieve and I’m really looking forward to doing that in a Chelsea shirt, under Thomas (Tuchel’s) management,” Sterling said.
“London is my home and where it all started for me, and it’s amazing I now have the opportunity to play in front of friends and family week in, week out at Stamford Bridge,” he added.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting the fans there soon.”
The 27-year-old is Chelsea’s first major signing since US billionaire Todd Boehly took over the club from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who sold the club in the wake of the Ukraine war due to international sanctions.
Sterling thanked Manchester City for the “endless support” he received during his seven-year, trophy-laden spell at the club.
“I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old. Today, I leave as a man,” he wrote in a farewell letter posted on social media, in which he thanked the club’s coaching personnel and fans as well as his teammates for their contributions and support throughout his spell at the Etihad Stadium.
“Seven seasons, eleven major trophies, a lifetime of memories,” he said. “Thank you for your endless support. It’s been an honor to wear the shirt of Manchester City.” EFE