Ten Cate denies Ronaldinho rumour

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The Independent Football

Chelsea's assistant manager Henk Ten Cate has denied attempting to entice Ronaldinho to Stamford Bridge.

Ten Cate knows Ronaldinho, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, from his three-year spell as Frank Rijkaard's number two at Barcelona. Reports in Spain stated Ten Cate was seeking to broker a move that would bring to an end the Brazilian's four-year spell at the Nou Camp.

Ten Cate is infuriated by a story that he claims is designed to unsettle the player, who has been strongly criticised this season following a string of poor performances. And the Dutchman believes that Ronaldinho's loss of form is only temporary.

"A newspaper has written that I have spoken with Ronaldinho to bring him to Chelsea," he told El Mundo Deportivo. "This is a big lie. It is false, totally false. I want to call a press conference so that everyone knows this.

"It is a lie and what's worse is that the journalist sent me a message saying that they were going to publish the story and I told them it was not true, that it was a lie.

"They only did it to hurt Ronaldinho and I know what I am talking about because I have experienced the same situation during my time at Barcelona. I don't understand this lack of respect for a player who has changed the history of the club.

"In England nobody thinks that Ronnie is finishing, you don't know how they talk about him. Here they understand that a player can have a bad day, that a team can have a bad day."

Ten Cate said he had not been in contact with Ronaldinho during the past 12 months and is frustrated at the trouble the speculation has caused him at Chelsea.

"We have worked very well together but the truth is that I have not spoken to Ronaldinho for a year," he said. "He wished me luck at Chelsea through my daughter, who lives in Barcelona, but I have been very focused on my work at Ajax and now at Chelsea.

"The reports also create problems for me at Chelsea because nobody at the club has asked about Ronnie apart from comments over coffee when my companions say things like 'how great is this player, how can he do such spectacular things?'. This causes me problems because what is published in Spain comes out in England."