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Chelsea Sign Reading FC Defender Hector - Returns To Club On Loan

Reading defender Michael Hector has signed for Premier League champions Chelsea on an five-year deal. The defender will now return to the Madejski on a season-long-loan.

The quick-fire move has been completed after reports emerged early this deadline day morning that Hector was on his way to West London, having previously been linked with Crystal Palace and Arsenal. The deal is worth £4 million and will see the Jamaican re-join Reading on a loan until the end of the season.

A big surprise to many if not all Royals supporters, Hector joins the Blues after an excellent year at the heart of Reading's defence in 2014/15, but has since been dropped after mistakes in the early games of the current campaign, with manager Steve Clarke preferring the experienced pairing of Anton Ferdinand and Paul McShane. Furthermore, with youngsters Niall Keown and Jake Cooper in the first-team squad it seems that Reading felt the time was right to cash in on the centre-back.

Steve Clarke told the club's website.

"This is a great reward for Michael's strong performances in the second half of last season. I'm delighted for him that he has joined Chelsea and I'm sure that he will seize his opportunity with both hands.

Also it's a good deal for us here at Reading as we get to keep Michael in our squad this season and I look forward to helping him further his development."

While Director of Football Nick Hammond added...

"Obviously this is a great move for Michael, to be joining such a big club. It is also, of course, a great advertisement for our Academy that Chelsea have come to us for one of our top young players.

This move represents a great achievement for Eamonn Dolan and his team, as well as our recruitment department, as it was Steve Shorey, who has been with us such a long time, that identified Michael as a young player in East London. This transfer adds to the prestige of our Academy, and there is so much to be proud of in our youth setup.

We very much appreciate the manner in which Chelsea have dealt with this transfer, and of course it is great to have Michael back for the rest of this season."

Ominously, Hector had reshuffled his social media accounts this morning, tweeting from London that he had changed his instagram account just as the early rumours emerged. Hector is joined by Nantes centre-back Papy Djilobodji in joining Chelsea on this deadline day, Jose Mourinho having missed out on England international John Stones.

Royals boss Clarke's links with Chelsea may have had a role in the deal, with the former Blues right-back able to bring in Lucas Piazon from the SW6 outfit yesterday, but many didn't think this working relationship would end up operating the other way around.

❤️⚽️can't believe today

A photo posted by Michael Hector (@big_hec__) on

As for Reading, it is the latest high-profile sale of an academy product as Hector follows in the footsteps of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alex McCarthy in moving to the Premier League, as well as Steve Sidwell and Kerry Dixon who made the jump to Stamford Bridge from Berkshire.

What do you make of the news? Is it a good deal for Reading, or a bargain for Chelsea? Comment below.