Chelsea rule out January transfer spree

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The Independent Football

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out buying any new players in the January transfer window unless injuries force him to ask owner Roman Abramovich to open his cheque book.

The Italian coach, preparing his side for their Champions League, Group F, clash with Spartak Moscow at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night, insists that his current squad is good enough to see the Blues through to the end of the season, unless the club suffers a spate of long-term injuries.

Chelsea have been linked with a host of big name players already this season but Ancelotti moved swiftly to dampen any talk of new additions in January - including Liverpool's out of form striker Fernando Torres.

"I always said that Torres is not our aim for the future because we have trust in a lot of young players," said Ancelotti.

"We also have fantastic strikers in Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou. We also have fantastic young players like Daniel Sturridge and Gael Kakuta.

"So, in this moment, we don't really need to have a striker, a fantastic striker, like Fernando Torres.

"We can be competitive in all competitions with this squad. The most important thing is to avoid injury, when possible.

"We have to maintain the squad with all the players fit. This is the most difficult thing to do, but we're trying and working hard to do this, to control the recovery of the players.

"I want to be sure that the players who will be involved in the game tomorrow will be fresh. If everyone stays fit we won't need anyone else. I think we have a fantastic squad."

An ankle injury has robbed Ancelotti of France international Florent Malouda for tomorrow's game while midfielder Frank Lampard remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Victory over Valery Karpin's side would give Chelsea the double over the Russian side and increase their lead at the top of the group to six points.

A win would also see them qualify for the knockout stage and with games against Marseille (away) and MSK Zilina (home) to come, they would be firm favourites to finish top.

"Malouda has an ankle problem," confirmed Ancelotti. "He twisted it in the last game and had a scan yesterday. He will have another one today but we don't think it's a big problem.

"It was a little twist. I hope he will be ready for the game at Liverpool.

"Lampard and Benayoun will be out, and Bosingwa has not felt well and did not train, so he's not available.

"We have a lot of games coming up and I don't want to take a risk. We have important games against Liverpool and Fulham and we want to play them with the players in good condition."

But Ancelotti is compensated by the return of Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba. He was suspended for the opening two games in the Champions League and missed the win over Spartak in Moscow through a virus.

"He's involved and wants to play," added Ancelotti. "He wants to give his support for the team. He's been out for these games and the team played well and won, but we have more possibilities to win when Drogba is in the team.

"When you have an opportunity to close the game you have to do it. We have a chance to get to the top of the table and play the last group games without pressure.

"Spartak played very well in the last game, above all in the second half. We want to avoid those kind of difficulties tomorrow.

"We had a problem in the second half and played too defensively. We want to play a different game."

The absent Malouda warned his team-mates that Spartak will come to London gunning for a result.

"I was really impressed by the quality of Spartak," said Malouda. "They will come to get a result because it's so important for them, for second place."