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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Saturday, 3 July 2010 10:29 UK

Chelsea sign midfielder Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool

Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun
Chelsea have given Yossi Benayoun a three-year deal

Premier League champions Chelsea have signed Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun on a three-year deal.

The Israeli, 30, who had a contract tying him to Anfield until 2013, has been signed after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed transfer fee.

Benayoun told Chelsea's website: "I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player."

Benayoun joined Liverpool in 2007 and scored 29 goals in 134 games.

The Israeli's arrival follows the departure from Stamford Bridge of midfielders Michael Ballack and Joe Cole.

He will meet up with his new Blues team-mates when he reports for pre-season training on Monday.

"Everything looks lovely. It is a great training ground and you can see it is one of the best clubs in the world from the way the people here treat you," he added.

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"I met a few of the staff and the players I know a little bit from playing. It is a good challenge for me and I am ready for it.

"There are a lot of good players, big players. For me it is the beginning and I have to work hard and prove I can bring something to this club.

"The only thing I can promise is I will work hard and do my best, and hopefully it will be good enough."

There were other offers on the table for Benayoun but he admitted it was a straightforward choice when the champions came calling.

"I had offers from a few teams, but when Chelsea came in for me it was the obvious and only thing to think about, and I am glad it came out in the end," he said.

"I leave a great club at Liverpool and I had a great time there, so I am very grateful to them also."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "We are happy to have this new player. Yossi has a lot of quality in midfield and can play in lots of positions. I like his behaviour on the pitch and he will do a great job for us next season."

A Liverpool spokesman said: "Yossi's departure was agreed between the player and Rafael Benitez a number of weeks ago. Everybody at Liverpool FC wishes him well for the future."

Benayoun came to England in 2005 when he joined West Ham from Spanish club Racing Santander.



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see also
Torres knee operation rocks Reds
14 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Voronin seals Dinamo Moscow move
10 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benayoun & Riera blow for Benitez
12 Nov 09 |  Liverpool
Benayoun extends Liverpool deal
06 Jul 09 |  Liverpool
Benitez keen for Benayoun to stay
21 Nov 08 |  Liverpool
Benayoun seals Liverpool transfer
12 Jul 07 |  Liverpool


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