Chelsea pluck Opara from obscurity to boost striking ranks

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Chelsea have been flexing their muscles in the transfer market once again as Jose Mourinho looks to soften the blow of his side's Champions' League exit. But the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, will not have to dip too far into his wallet, as the Blues' latest new boy is the striker Lloyd Opara of the Southern Premier League side Cheshunt.

The 22-year-old, who has hit 23 goals for the non-league outfit this season, is on trial at the League Two promotion hopefuls Peterborough. But the Peterborough manager Steve Bleasdale said that Opara would soon be swapping London Road for Stamford Bridge after earning a trial.

"Lloyd has done well in training this week and we were set to sign him on Wednesday, but Chelsea want him to go there for a trial period so we can't stand in his way," Bleasdale said. "I suppose we have been pipped to a player by Chelsea and I don't think we could compete with them financially, but he is going there on trial.

"Lloyd has said how much he enjoyed training with us, so if it doesn't work out at Chelsea then maybe he can return here. We certainly wanted to sign him until the end of the season."

* Police arrested three players - Cyril Ramond, Marco Nijs and Ilija Stolika - from the Belgian first-division club Sint-Truiden at training yesterday and took them for questioning as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing.