Chelsea have confirmed the departure of attacker Charly Musonda, who has joined Celtic on an 18-month loan deal. He will remain in Parkhead until the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is highly rated by the Stamford Bridge club and was included in Antonio Conte's first-team this season. He made seven appearances in all competitions including scoring on his debut against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.

However, he was unlikely to get regular game time with N'Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and new signing Ross Barkley ahead of him in the pecking order for a place in Chelsea's midfield. The lack of chances prompted a temporary move and the Celtics confirmed his capture on Monday (29 January).

"Celtic are delighted to announce that highly-rated attacking midfielder, Charly Musonda, has joined the club on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea," a statement read on the Scottish club's official site.

The Bhoys are favourites to win the league title yet again as they hold a commanding 11-point lead over arch rivals Rangers. Musonda is unlikely to be part of the squad that takes on Hearts on Tuesday, but could make his debut when they face Kilmarnock on Saturday (3 February).

The Chelsea loanee, who will wear the number 67 jersey during his time with Celtic, was excited to have finally completed the move. He revealed that he was close to joining Brendan Rodgers' side last season, but the move failed to materialise.

"It's simple for me - Celtic is a massive club," Musonda told Celtic's official site. "It's a club with many fans, an unbelievable passion, and the culture is more than a club. Those were the most important things, and I wanted to go somewhere where I would enjoy my football, and I know the manager as well. I am very happy to be here.

"It's a massive club and I am really looking forward to it. I was quite close to coming last summer but it didn't happen.

"I spoke again with the manager a couple of weeks ago and I said I had a feeling that this is where I want to come and play my football. I am very lucky to be here and I am very happy to be here," the Belgium Under-21 international added.

Musonda became Chelsea's fifth transfer in January following the loan exits of Baba Rahman, Kenedy and Nathan and the arrival of Barkley from Everton. Conte, however, is not done with his transfer business and is keen to further strengthen the squad before the 31 January deadline.

The Italian coach is keen to sign a striker and a left-sided full back, with Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri of AS Roma his main targets. According to Sky Sports, the former is unlikely to join the Blues after failing to agree to the terms on offer by the reigning Premier League champions.

Palmieri, on the other hand, is Stamford Bridge bound after the two clubs reached an agreement over the fee. Chelsea will reportedly pay £17.6m ($24.7m) plus £7m in add-ons for the Brazilian defender.

The 23-year-old is expected to fly to London on Tuesday (30 January) with a medical already scheduled before he completes his move to become Chelsea's sixth transfer of the January window.

Charly Musonda
Charly Musonda will spend the next 18 months on loan at Celtic in the Scottish Premier League Getty