Chelsea ask Spurs for £11m after rejecting Duff bid

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The Independent Online

Chelsea have rejected a £7m bid from Tottenham Hotspur for Damien Duff saying they must increase their offer to £11m - and have also made contact with Gianluca Zambrotta's representatives over a deal to sign the Juventus defender.

It appears likely, however, that Zambrotta will join Real Madrid along with Fabio Cannavaro, who also interests Chelsea, and the midfielder Emerson.

At the same time, William Gallas, who has just one year left on his contract, has still not agreed a new deal with Chelsea and is understood to remain unhappy with the terms on offer. Talks took place before the World Cup a new contract tabled. Chelsea say they will not sell the Frenchman and Gallas's options have also been limited by the effects of the Italian corruption scandal.

Duff is, however, still expected to leave, with Spurs likely to increase their offer. The 27-year-old winger, who joined Chelsea from Blackburn Rovers for £17m in 2003, has a year left on his contract and had hoped for an extension. Talks were held but Duff, who earns £70,000 a week, was told he would have to take a substantial pay cut. Although Duff appears prepared to do that it is also clear he is not seen as a key member of Jose Mourinho's squad.

Chelsea would also listen to offers for Shaun Wright-Phillips who arrived from Manchester City last summer but has struggled. A number of clubs, headed by Newcastle United, had hoped to take the 24-year-old winger on loan but Chelsea appear to want only a sale - if suitors are willing to pay close to the £21m City received.

Duff and Wright-Phillips returned to training at Chelsea yesterday along with five others not involved in the World Cup including new signings goalkeeper Hilario and Salomon Kalou.

Chelsea, who are hoping to push ahead with a deal to sign Roberto Carlos and are likely to bid for Ashley Cole, are also still to agree terms with Valencia who have offered £4.75m for Asier Del Horno. The left-back cost £8m from Athletic Bilbao last summer and although Chelsea will accept a loss they hope Valencia will increase their offer a little.

Chelsea remain among the second seeds for the Champions' League next season despite the almost certain exclusion of Juventus and Milan. Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are among the eight top seeds.

Despite Chelsea being Premiership champions for two years running, their English rivals have notched up more Uefa co-efficient points by having a longer history in Europe's élite club competition.Beaten finalists Arsenal and Liverpool still need to qualify to take their place among the top seeds for the group phase while Celtic, who qualified automatically as Scottish champions, are in the second pot.

The French champions, Lyon, will benefit from the absent Italians as they will become one of the top seeds.

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