Chelsea signs 16 mln deal with French midfielder

The English soccer club Chelsea, owned by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, has struck a deal with the French midfielder Claude Makelele, 30, who has until now been playing for Real Madrid.

The sum of the four-year contract, signed Sunday night, has not been made public, but British sports sources put it at around 16 million pounds, the BBC reports. Makelele says he is happy to be transferring to Chelsea and that he likes that club's high ambitions.

The contract with the French midfielder is the latest deal in the new Chelsea owner's spending spree, bringing the overall investment to 111 million pounds (almost $178 million). Makelele is the eleventh player bought by the London club since Abramovich took over.

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