Chelsea closer to Robinho bid after talks with agent

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have stepped up their interest in the Real Madrid forward Robinho after theirsporting director Frank Arnesen met the player's agent.

New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who began his Chelsea job yesterday, has already signed Portugal international Deco from Barcelona and there are signs that Robinho could be next.

Robinho's representative Vagner Ribeiro said: "It's true that Chelsea are interested insigning Robinho. They have been after him for a while and there has been much more contact since Scolari became the new Chelsea coach. I met with [Frank] Arnesen in London and he confirmed to me that Chelsea wanted my player for next season."

Portsmouth, meanwhile, have signed Chelsea teenager Ben Sahar in a six-month loan deal. The 18-year-old Israeli striker had loan spells at QPR and Sheffield Wednesday last season but could now get his chance of regular Premier League action.

Sahar has made three appearances for the Chelsea first team since joining in May 2006 from Hapoel Tel Aviv, and has since become a full Israel international.

The Dutch side NEC Nijmegen had hoped to sign him on loan for next season. However the move to Portsmouth will allow Chelsea to closely monitor his progress as he contests places with Jermain Defoe, David Nugent and Nwankwo Kanu.