Chelsea sign Schwarzer on one-year contract

The 40-year-old Australia international was a free agent having been released by Fulham this summer, and will now serve as back-up to first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech
Chelsea have signed former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer, the club have confirmed.

Schwarzer has signed a one-year contract at Stamford Bridge, and is expected to act as back-up to first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Jose Mourinho had been the in the market for a goalkeeper following the departures of Ross Turnbull and Hilario, and the announcement Thibaut Courtois will spend another season on loan with Atletico Madrid.

Reports had linked the Blues with a £7 million move for Norwich No.1 John Ruddy, but they have instead chosen Schwarzer, 40, who was released by Fulham following the arrival of Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma.

"It's a phenomenal club," he told the club's official website.

"It's one of the biggest and best clubs in the world, and it's an honour to sign for Chelsea. I didn't take much convincing to come here."

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup less than 12 months away, the move is something of a gamble for Socceroo Schwarzer, who had previously said he wanted to play first-team Premier League football next season. Australia understands a switch to Hull City - where he would have been likely to be first-choice - fell through when the promoted club could not meet Schwarzer's wage demands.

The move realises a long-held dream of a switch to one of the Premier League's heavyweight clubs, after Schwarzer was denied a transfer to Arsenal by then-Fulham manager Mark Hughes in 2010.

Goal Australia has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above links