Football: Chelsea sign back-up keeper Amelia

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea have signed former Italy goalkeeper Marco Amelia on a free transfer, the Premier League club announced on Thursday (Oct 8).

Blues boss Jose Mourinho moved for Amelia to ensure he has experienced back-up as cover for Asmir Begovic, with first-choice Thibaut Courtois currently out injured.

Amelia has agreed a contract until the end of the season and will be available for Chelsea when they return to Premier League action against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on October 17.

The 33-year-old, who won nine international caps between 2005 and 2009, began his career with Roma and also spent four years at AC Milan, before joining Serie B side Perugia last season.

He had been training with the Blues at their Cobham headquarters and impressed enough to earn a deal.

Academy keeper Jamal Blackman, 21, who has yet to make a first-team appearance, has been on the Chelsea bench in recent weeks.

Courtois is expected to be back in action in December after suffering knee ligament damage in training last month.