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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea complete deal for free agent Mineiro

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has bolstered his squad by signing Brazilian midfielder Mineiro until the end of the season.

The 33-year-old, who has won 24 caps, was a free agent having been released by Hertha Berlin at the end of last season.

Chelsea have been short of defensive midfield cover with Claude Makelele having left the club in the summer and Michael Essien sidelined with a serious knee injury.

"He is a player that I need because I lost Michael Essien for six months. I have one midfielder like him, John Mikel Obi,'' Scolari told the club's website.

Mineiro, whose full name is Carlos Luciano da Silva, was a member of the Brazil squad at the 2006 World Cup and was also in the team that faced England in a friendly at Wembley last year.

Scolari continued: "This week he will not play but maybe after 15 days to two weeks, he is ready to play normal games.

"He needs to play some games in the reserve team, and for me it is very good because I have one more player in this position.

"If not I have to put in (Juliano) Belletti or (Paulo) Ferreira, or (Michael) Ballack, and they are not for this position.

"I say to fans of Chelsea, if they remember (Claude) Makelele, Mineiro is the same. Good positionally, a very good marker. He is a man that works for the other players and he is also a good man outside of the pitch.''

Mineiro spent 18 months with Hertha, scoring twice in 36 appearances, having previously played solely in his homeland with Sao Paulo, Sao Caetano and Ponte Preta.

While at Sao Paulo he scored the goal which beat Liverpool in the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship.

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