Chelsea claim victory as initial fee for Sturridge is set at £3.5m

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Chelsea claimed victory in their dispute with Manchester City over Daniel Sturridge when the London club were yesterday forced to pay an initial fee of just £3.5m for the player – much less than the £8m that City wanted.

The case was settled by a tribunal who decided upon an initial fee of £3.5m for the 20-year-old striker as well as add-ons that could bring the price up to £6.5m based on the player's success. Sturridge joined Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer on wages of £60,000-a-week but the clubs could not come to an agreement on a compensation figure for City for their development of the player.

Sturridge will earn City a further £500,000 when he makes his 10th appearance for the club – he has currently played in only eight games – and the same amount when he plays his 20th, 30th and 40th games for the club. There will be an extra £1m for City if the player ever makes a full senior appearance for England and 15 per cent of any further transfer fee.

The sliding scale is ideal for Chelsea because it means that they will only have to pay in the event of Sturridge being a success at the cub, something that is by no means certain to judge by his track record. A Chelsea spokesman said: "We are content with the outcome of today's tribunal regarding Daniel Sturridge's transfer. The initial fee is very close to what we first offered. Any subsequent payments are directly linked to the success of the player and that is satisfactory to us."

The decision was made by a four-man committee including representatives from the Premier League, the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers' Association who put a value on the player. Sturridge scored his first two goals for Chelsea against Watford in the FA Cup this month but is still a long way from being a regular first-team player.