- Ruptured ACL at training camp
- Faced career crossroads at 30
- Will have competition for her spot
Sam Kerr is reported to have agreed to a new deal to extend her medal-strewn stay at English champions Chelsea on the day her club also smashed the transfer record to sign a new star striker.
Colombian Mayra Ramirez, one of the stars of the World Cup in Australia, is the attacker the Blues hope will fill the void left by Kerr’s knee injury which will keep her out of action for the rest of the season.
But despite the big-money arrival of the 24-year-old from Spanish club Levante and amid speculation that Kerr, now 30, might have played her last match for Chelsea with her contract up at the end of the season, it appears the Matildas captain will continue her triumphant reign at Kingsmeadow.
The Athletic and the Guardian have both reported that Kerr has agreed a contract extension that will ensure she’ll still be at Chelsea after the club’s hugely successful coach Emma Hayes leaves to take up the US women’s national team job at the end of the season.
Sam Kerr has re-signed for Chelsea despite rupturing her ACL during a training camp with the club that ended her season
Kerr will have to battle for her position, though, with Chelsea smashing its transfer record to sign Colombian striker Mayra Ramirez
Kerr is on the recovery trail but will miss the Paris Olympics for the Matildas after also missing most of the FIFA Women’s World Cup through injury
It would mean Kerr gets the chance to grab her century of goals in blue, after netting 99 in 128 games, and can seek to add to her nine trophies at the club – four Women’s Super League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.
But Chelsea’s money-no-object owner Todd Boehly has pulled out his chequebook again to bring in Ramirez in what may well prove be a world-record deal in the women’s game.
Levante said the fee was 450,000 euros ($A740,000). With add-ons said to be worth 50,000 euros ($A82,000), it’s a deal that obliterates the Stg £250,000 Chelsea paid for Pernille Harder in 2020.
Ramirez said: “I am very honoured to be a part of Chelsea. To be part of such a huge club is a dream come true and one I’ve had since I was a little girl.”
And Hayes is thrilled to have her on board, telling a news conference on Friday: “Everybody knows her qualities. She’s so excited to be here and we’re really, really excited to have her.
“Her physicality is unbelievable, it really is. She’s got so much size but presence and power and she’s quick with the ball. She’s a threat in the box, she scores goals.
“She doesn’t speak English, so two or three of us are helping her with that. It will take a little bit of time to settle. But I’m sure she will bring a lot of qualities to our league.”
Hayes wasn’t sure if Ramirez would be available on Saturday when Chelsea, protecting a three-point lead at the top, play at Brighton in the WSL. “She has trained this morning. In terms of international clearance, I don’t know at this moment in time.”