William Gallas's chances of leaving Chelsea look slim after he was ordered to work on his own at the club's Cobham training ground and warned not to consider putting in a transfer request.
The Chelsea defender will meet up with his team-mates on Monday when he returns to work after missing the club's pre-season training camp in America. But he will not take part in the matches against Feyenoord on Tuesday and Celtic on Wednesday and will instead be told to do extra fitness work.
Gallas is frustrated after the manager, Jose Mourinho, fined him £80,000 for missing the trip to Los Angeles and took away his lucky No 13 shirt to give to Michael Ballack. But he will not be getting any sympathy from Mourinho, who has revealed that Chelsea have never received a firm transfer offer for him.
The Frenchman issued a statement in May insisting that he had made a decision to leave Chelsea following interest from Milan, but Mourinho says that no offer was made and Gallas's name never even came up in conversation during negotiations over the transfer of Andriy Shevchenko.
Now Gallas, who has one year left on his contract, must decide whether to restart negotiations about a four-year £70,000-a-week deal to stay at Chelsea, whether to dig his heels in and ask for a move or instead to wait until May 2007 to claim a free transfer. All the indications are that he will stay but Mourinho, who says Gallas let his team-mates down by failing to turn up in America, has no intention of making the process easy for the Frenchman until he has apologised.
Chelsea begin their pre-season campaign today with a match here against the MLS All-Stars, in which four players could make their debuts. Ballack, Salomon Kalou, John Obi Mikel and Shevchenko are all in the squad.
Mourinho picked out Ballack for particular praise, saying: "He thinks about the game - he never makes a mistake in his playing. He is a player who is very easy to work with, a professional."
Any fears that Ballack's personality would not fit in at Stamford Bridge were assuaged when he was asked to perform a song in Chelsea's traditional initiation ceremony.
"He sang a fantastic song," said Mourinho. "I've no idea what it was because I don't understand a lot of German but it was a German song with a lot of rhythm."Reuse content