Chelsea women continue to set the standards in the WSL transfer market after confirming the signing of Bayern Munich captain Melanie Leupolz.
The 25-year-old will join the Blues in the summer ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Leupolz comes with real pedigree, having won two league titles in six years at Bayern Munich, and is a stalwart on the international stage.
The midfielder has won 77 caps for Germany, and was part of the side that won the 2013 European Championships, and took gold at the 2016 Olympics.
She also started three out of Germany's five games at the 2019 World Cup, scoring in the group stages against South Africa.
The transfer is another huge demonstration of ambition from Chelsea, who have now made three marquee signings in less than 12 months.
Record-breaking Australian international Sam Kerr - considered one of the greatest strikers in world football - joined the club in a blockbuster deal in January.
Norwegian forward Guro Reiten was also snapped up in the summer, and the 25-year-old has gone on to be one of the WSL's star performers this season.
Leupolz joins a Chelsea midfield already brimming with talent, as the club continue to build a squad with the strength in depth to rival giants of the women's game Lyon.
The Blues already have the ever-dependable Sophie Ingle and the supremely technically gifted Ji So-Yun as the current first-choice midfield pairing, with the sturdy Drew Spence also in the mix.
Chelsea are already spoilt for choice upfront with the WSL's top scorer Beth England in addition to Kerr, Erin Cuthbert, Ramona Bachmann and Fran Kirby - who has missed most of the season through illness.
Blues boss Emma Hayes is no stranger to having a wealth of talent at her disposal. Hayes balanced the talents of Eni Aluko, Karen Carney, Gemma Davison, Kirby and Ji during the club's 2017/18 title-winning campaign.
The length of contract handed to Leupolz is also a real statement of intent from the Blues, with the Germany international signing a three-year deal.
Contracts in the women's game are often no longer than two years, but the Leupolz deal, in addition to the bumper contract given to Kerr, shows that Chelsea really mean business.
The likes of Arsenal and Manchester City may still have strong starting lineups, but the sheer depth of squad that Chelsea are putting together is frightening.
Having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in both 2018 and 2019 - pushing the seemingly unbeatable Lyon all the way in 2019 - the signing is another step towards competing with the best in Europe for Chelsea.
Hayes reinforced just how big of a signing this is for Chelsea. Speaking to the club's official website, she said: "It’s a real statement of intent that she chose Chelsea and it shows just how far we’ve come as a football club.
"Melanie is versatile, she’s got wonderful qualities in the midfield areas and she will provide much-needed depth – I’m looking forward to welcoming her to the club."
Source : 90min