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19-year-old Chelsea attacking midfielder Harvey St Clair has joined Italian Serie B side Venezia after signing a four-year deal with the Italian side.

His Chelsea contract expires at the end of June and St Clair opted against signing an extension despite Chelsea’s interest in extending his contract.

St Clair has been at Chelsea since age six and won an FA Youth Cup and the U18 Premier League. Last season he played 17 times for the U23s, scoring three goals, with three assists.

“I’ll go out to Italy on July 7 to start pre-season preparations and I’m looking forward to it already, but it was a really difficult decision to leave Chelsea and one I didn’t take lightly,” St Clair said as quoted on Goal after completing his move to Venezia.

“It’s been a very hard decision for me and my family. I first trained with Chelsea when I was six years old so I’ve been associated with the club for a long time now. They’ve done so much to help me over that period of time. They’re a great club with an unbelievable academy. I just feel like it’s the right decision for me at this point in my career.

“I really want to be playing regular first-team football if I can and with the depth of talent Chelsea have available to them then I just didn’t see that happening in the short term.

“That’s absolutely not a criticism of them – just a fact of life. It’s the level that they’re at.

“Venezia are really ambitious and looking to go places and, like I said, my focus is to be playing first-team football. It’s something I feel I need at this age.”

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