Lampard set to turn down a 'dream' move to Barcelona
Tuesday 30 May 2006
Frank Lampard looks set to pledge his future to Chelsea despite admitting it would be a dream to play in Spain.
The Premiership champions' England midfielder is on a long-term deal at Stamford Bridge and Jose Mourinho wants the former West Ham man to negotiate a new deal this summer. Lampard's partner hails from Catalunya and the 27-year-old, who has often been linked with a move to Barcelona, reportedly told the Spanish sports daily El Mundo Deportivo: "It would be a dream to come to Barça.
"But Chelsea has offered me a renewal, and I am very proud of that and it shows they have confidence in me.
"In addition the team is being reinforced and will be even more competitive and will be able to aspire to everything."
Mourinho's former club Porto, meanwhile, have denied receiving an offer from Chelsea for their winger Ricardo Quaresma. Mourinho has already signed Michael Ballack on a free transfer from Bayern Munich and looks set to complete the £34m transfer of Andriy Shevchenko from Milan in the next 48 hours.
The continuing speculation over the futures of Damien Duff and Shaun Wright-Phillips have prompted Chelsea to look for another wide man. But the Porto president, Pinto Sa Silva, has denied any contact with Chelsea about Quaresma and said it would take a huge offer to lure the Portugal Under-21 captain away.
"Officially, we have not received any proposition and it does not enter into our plans to sell this player in the summer," Sa Silva said. "I know some rumours in the press but these are not serious. If those are confirmed the club will study the subject but only a big offer, because Quaresma is a key player in our project."
Elsewhere, Barcelona's versatile defender Gabri has ended his links with the European champions after 13 years but said he has still to make a decision on his future.
The 27-year-old, who turned down the chance to join West Ham in January, has hinted at a possible move to join Frank Rijkaard's former assistant coach at Barça, Henk ten Cate, who was appointed coach of Ajax two weeks ago.
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