Carvalho set to join exodus at Chelsea

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The Independent Online

While the wait for an announcement of a new Chelsea manager drags on, it was Ricardo Carvalho's turn to become the latest senior player to leave the door open to a move away from the club. The Portugal defender, regarded as yet another potential target for Jose Mourinho at Internazionale, said yesterday that he would meet chief executive Peter Kenyon after Euro 2008 to discuss his future.

Carvalho, 30, is known to be unsettled at Chelsea and, prior to Portugal's game tonight against the Czech Republic here, he said that he had not made up his mind whether he would be staying once the tournament was over. The defender, who joined Chelsea for £19m in 2004, said it would have no effect on him whether Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed Chelsea manager and was less than unequivocal about his future. "I have a contract with Chelsea, I have to carry this contract on," he said. "But sometimes a new challenge is a good thing. I'm very happy at Chelsea. I'll have to speak with Peter Kenyon after the tournament.

Kenyon is in Italy contemplating the break-up of a squad built largely by Mourinho in his first two years at the club. With Didier Drogba's move to Milan now an open secret, there are also serious doubts over whether Frank Lampard will sign the contract that has been on offer to him for the last year. Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips are also among the disaffected. Chelsea hope that Carvalho, who signed a new five-year deal last May, can be priced out of the market.

Carvalho's future has become a source of interest around the Portugal camp. Asked whether there was a chance of him going to Inter, Carvalho said: "I've heard a few comments, it's a club matter I'm focused on playing for the national team, and then we'll see. Yes, I would love to be coached by Mr Mourinho, the majority of trophies I've won were with Jose, but now we are in a new cycle with Chelsea. Let's see what happens."

Now emerging as the favourite to take over as manager at Chelsea, Scolari will announce his plans for his own future after Euro 2008. However, yesterday he said he could envisage working outside of Portugal and Brazil – the only two places he has managed thus far. "I have a contract with the Portuguese federation and I will fulfil my contract to the end and then afterwards we will see what happens. For the atmosphere, the love of Portugal, it will be difficult to leave but I'm a professional and I have lived everywhere in the world."

Portugal (4-2-3-1): Ricardo (Real Betis); Bosingwa (Chelsea), Pepe (Real Madrid), Carvalho (Chelsea), Ferreira (Chelsea); Petit (Benfica), Moutinho (Sporting Lisbon); Ronaldo (Manchester United), Deco (Barcelona), Simao (Atletico Madrid); Gomes (Benfica).

Czech Republic (4-2-3-1): Cech (Chelsea); Grygera (Juventus), Ujfalusi (Fiorentina), Rozehnal (Lazio), Jankulovski (Milan); Galasek (Nuremberg), Polak (Anderlecht); Sionko (Copenhagen), Jarolim (Hamburg), Plasil (Osasuna); Koller (Nuremberg).

Referee: K Vassaras (Greece).

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