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Blues issue Shevchenko denial

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27 July 2005 | ©football365.com

Chelsea have dismissed reports linking them with AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko as "totally incorrect".

Manager Jose Mourinho has repeatedly claimed he has only one transfer target remaining this summer - Lyon midfielder Michael Essien.

And the Stamford Bridge club reiterated that view while categorically rejecting any possibility of a move for Shevchenko.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was reported to be ready to part with up to £60million for the Ukrainian.

But a statement issued by Chelsea director of communications Simon Greenberg said: "It is club policy not to comment on speculation linking Chelsea to players. However there are continuing, and totally incorrect, reports regarding Andriy Shevchenko that only serve to unnecessarily destabilise those players already at Chelsea.

"The club has made it quite clear that we are seeking to bring in one more player, and we have also made it clear that this will be a midfield player, if it happens.

"We are not seeking to sign a forward and we have total confidence in those we have."

Chelsea continue to pursue Essien. An initial £17.4million bid was turned down by Lyon, prompting the Blues to increase their offer to £18.7million, which was again rejected by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas during a face-to-face meeting with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon earlier this month.

Essien himself expects to be at Stamford Bridge in time for Chelsea to begin the defence of their Barclays Premiership crown.

"I think the transfer will be made," Essien has said. "I am convinced that I will go to Chelsea but in the meantime I am experiencing difficult times."



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