Chelsea has confirmed the signing of Manchester United forward Lauren James.
The 19-year-old, who is the younger sister of England and Chelsea right-back Reece James, has agreed on a four-year contract with the reigning Women’s Super League champions.
James joined United in 2018 and scored 14 goals as they won the FA Women’s Championship in their first season.
She also scored United’s first goal in the WSL and went on to be their top scorer in the 2019-20 season.
Chelsea begin WSL title defence at Arsenal
James was on Chelsea’s books until she was 14 when she moved to Arsenal, making her debut two years later.
“Lauren is an exciting, young talent who we have admired for a while,” said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.
“When the opportunity came up to sign her, we felt now was the right time to bring her back to the club.
“We’re excited to see how she develops in the coming years and look forward to welcoming her to pre-season training.”
An England youth international, James was called up to the senior team by former Lionesses boss Phil Neville in 2020 but has yet to win a senior cap.
“It’s a great feeling to come back home, to a great club, the club I started at the age of six,” said James.
“To be able to play for the first team now and come back here to Emma and the rest of the group is a good feeling.
“I’m excited to get started and I can’t wait to meet all the fans at Kingsmeadow when the new season kicks in.”