Chelsea have announced the signing of Italian goalkeeper Marco Amelia after Thibaut Courtois was ruled out until at least December following a knee surgery. The Belgian's absence leaves the Blues with just one experienced keeper in Asmir Begovic and they want to bring in cover in case the Bosnian suffers an injury.

Jose Mourinho had praised the Italian goalkeeper earlier in the month, admitting that he was experienced enough to provide cover for Courtois, who is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines following surgery. "Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Marco Amelia," a statement on the official Chelsea site read.

"The goalkeeper arrives on a free transfer to provide highly experienced cover following the injury to Thibaut Courtois last month, and has signed a contract until the end of the season," the statement added.

The 33-year-old Italy international goalkeeper, started his career with Roma, with subsequent spells in Livorno, Palermo and Genoa. Amelia spent four-years in AC Milan before being released in the summer of 2014, and following a spell without a club, the stopper signed a shot-term deal with Serie B side Perugia in the second half of last season. However, he failed to make a single appearance and was subsequently released.

Amelia is unlikely to start anytime soon, but is available for Chelsea's Premier League clash against Aston Villa following the international break. The Italian goalkeeper's agent Federico Pastorello confirmed the move on Thursday (8 October) and his Twitter account.

"Dinner with #marcoamelia to celebrate the contract with Chelsea FC!!! Good luck!!" Pastorello wrote.

The Premier League champions are enduring a difficult start to the 2015/16 campaign, and are currently on 16<sup>th place with eight points in as many games. They have already lost four games this season, which is one more than they lost in the 2014/15 campaign.