Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo has agreed to return to Italy on a one-year loan deal with Milan.

The Argentine international, who scored 12 goals in 31 matches for Chelsea, moves back to the city where he played for Inter before his solitary season at Stamford Bridge.

His departure is likely to result in Chelsea stepping up their atttempts to sign Marseille’s Didier Drogba.

“It is a decision that everyone wanted, and it is certainly a present to our fans,” said Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani

Crespo said: “The idea of returning to play in Italy gives me great pleasure.”

The former Lazio and Parma striker will face a tough task in securing a starting place at Milan. Andrei Shevchenko was the top scorer in Serie A last season, while Italy’s Filippo Inzaghi and Denmark’s Jon Dahl Tomasson have been prolific scorers at club and international level.

“The three strikers who are already at Milan are great players, and they have proved it many times,” admmitted Crespo.

“The derby against Inter will have a special impression on me, but it is still too soon to talk about these things.”

“To anyone who is worried about my fitness, I would say that I am in great shape,” Crespo continued. “Of that there is no doubt.