Australia star Sam Kerr joins WSL leaders Chelsea

Australia striker Sam Kerr has joined Chelsea on a two-and-a-half year deal and will be available for the second half of the WSL season.

Kerr ended weeks of speculation about her club future by announcing she will move to England.

The 26-year-old, who has been rotating between Perth Glory in Australia's W-League and Chicago Red Stars in the United States' National Women's Soccer League, is taking a three-week holiday before linking up with Chelsea.

"The WSL is the best league in Europe," Kerr said. "I want team success and I don't want it to come easy. I feel Chelsea have been building something special over the years and I want to be a part of that -- I want to lift some trophies."

Kerr has become the face of Australian women's soccer since debuting with the Matildas at the age of 15.

She played a key role in Australia's sweep of the just-completed two-game friendly series against Chile -- she scored a brace in a 2-1 win in game one in Sydney last Saturday, and set-up the winner in a 1-0 triumph in Adelaide on Tuesday night.

Kerr had been weighing up her club future since opting against returning to Australia's domestic W-League and Perth Glory.

She had been splitting her time each year between the Glory from October to April, then the Chicago Red Stars in the United States' National Women's Soccer League from April to September.

After Tuesday night's victory in Adelaide, Kerr conceded the gruelling schedule had led to near-exhaustion.

She outlined her plans for a three-week holiday, initially in Perth to visit family and then to Bali.

"I'm really looking forward to a break," she said. "It's the first time ever I have had scheduled time off where I can go on a holiday and take care of myself.

"It's my body -- obviously I have been going back and forth [between Australia and the U.S.] -- but also my mind. I have been going non-stop.

"And the Matildas have gained a whole lot of exposure in the last few years so our lives have changed dramatically.

"It will just be nice to turn off from football and enjoy myself."

Chelsea's manager Emma Hayes was delighted with the signing of Kerr.

"She's a player that can make things happen but she's also a fantastic team player," Hayes said.

"The fact she chose Chelsea when she could have gone to any club in the world is a testament to the players and the staff here, because she saw this is the best place for her to grow and take the next step in her career."