Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Ballack, Shevchenko not for sale, FA Cup winner says

Ballack, Shevchenko not for sale, FA Cup winner says

FA Cup winner Chelsea has no plans to sell Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko despite the players' disappointing first season in English soccer.
The Blues beat Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday thanks to Didier Drogba's extra time goal at Wembley. That gave Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho his first success in the FA Cup, two weeks after his team surrendered the Premier League title to the Red Devils. Ballack and Shevchenko both missed the final with injuries.
Now that Chelsea is setting out to win the league title back, chief executive Peter Kenyon says the club doesn't want to sell off two of its biggest names.
"We have brought both these players in for three or four years. We did not bring them in for a season," Kenyon said Sunday. "I am confident they are going to be here as big players with Chelsea next season.
"They want to contribute a lot more, they feel they have a lot more to give. It takes time to settle in. They are two fantastic professionals. It is an exciting prospect to see those two guys on top of their game for us next season."
Ballack arrived from Bayern Munich and Shevchenko from AC Milan to strengthen an already powerful Chelsea squad but both struggled to adapt to the fast pace of the Premier League. There was also speculation that Mourinho didn't even want Shevchenko but that the Ukrainian striker was bought by Chelsea's billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Mourinho's own future has also been in doubt especially after the club's failure to hold on to the Premier League title and its semifinal elimination from the Champions League.
After his Wembley triumph, Mourinho said he saw no reason to leave Stamford Bridge.
"I have a contract (until 2010). I want to stay," he said. "The club told me they want me to stay. I believe it when I have had three years of relations with (chairman Bruce) Buck and (Peter) Kenyon. I look at them as honorable people, not as liars, so when they say publicly and to myself that I am going to be Chelsea manager next season, I have no reason to doubt. I am preparing together with Peter for the next season.
"I am moving house, but not to Portugal. I am staying for next season. I am very, very happy in this club. I love the football in this country. I have no reason to leave. If the club is not happy with me, I think I will be the first to know because I am working with honest people. I don't know why there are doubts about my future."
Kenyon also said that the club would concentrate on persuading England stars John Terry and Frank Lampard to sign new deals with the club. Both players have delayed signing news contracts but England captain Terry denied speculation that he would move elsewhere if he didn't get the terms he wanted.
"That's ludicrous. I would never do that," the centerback said Sunday. "Now the season is over for Chelsea, I'd like to think things are going to get sorted out and I'm hopeful we will be in talks.
"I didn't want to be in talks in the build-up to the FA Cup final and the build-up to what could have been us possibly retaining the Premiership," Terry said. "I told Chelsea to wait and we would go again in the summer. It was not right to go into important games with things on your mind and being unhappy."
___
AP Sports Writer Stuart Condie contributed to this report.