Premier League champions Chelsea have confirmed their latest summer departure, with newly-promoted Newcastle United exercising their option to sign loanee Christian Atsu on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

The Ghanaian winger has signed a four-year deal at St James' Park after helping Championship winners Newcastle bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt under Rafael Benitez. He initially signed for the Magpies on a season-long loan in August 2016 and went on to score five goals in 35 appearances across all competitions.

"We are happy to sign a good player," Benitez said. "He's shown us that he's a good professional and someone who is very keen to learn and improve. Christian has been a key part of our promotion campaign and he wants to help us to build something for the future."

Atsu arrived at Chelsea from Porto in September 2013 but failed to make a single competitive first-team appearance for the club.

He was immediately loaned to Vitesse Arnhem and later struggled to register a discernible impact during further temporary stints with Everton and Bournemouth. The 25-year-old also spent the second half of last season in La Liga with Malaga.

While neither club has disclosed any specific financial details, it was widely reported last week that a permanent deal for Atsu would cost Newcastle in the region of £6.2m ($8m). Owner Mike Ashley has already promised Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley that they can have "every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season".


Atsu is the third senior player to depart Chelsea this summer. Out-of-contract captain John Terry is set to call time on his trophy-laden 22-year spell at Stamford Bridge after the FA Cup final against Arsenal, while Juan Cuadrado joined Juventus on a full-time basis earlier this week after the reigning Serie A champions triggered a purchase clause in his three-year loan deal. The Colombian international had spent each of the last two seasons in Turin.

Christian Atsu
Christian Atsu impressed Rafael Benitez during his season-long loan stint at Newcastle