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REVEALED: First signing of Abramovich era - who never played for Chelsea

The first signing of Roman Abramovich's Chelsea era never actually played for the first team.

After 19 years in charge, the Russian billionaire has announced he will sell the club this month.

Abramovich's first Chelsea signing was an Austrian goalkeeper Jurgen Macho, who never played a game for the club.

The 6ft 4 shot-stopper, 44, was a free transfer from Sunderland in June 2003 - the same month that Abramovich purchased Chelsea for a staggering £140m.

Second choice at the Black Cats behind Thomas Sorensen, Macho made 22 league appearances for Peter Reid's side before moving south to London on the expiration of his contract.

But the Austrian found first-team football difficult to come by and his progress was severely stunted when tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in training.

The season-ending injury meant Macho failed to make a single competitive showing for the Blues and his two-year deal was ripped up after just 12 months at Stamford Bridge, reports the Daily Star.

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