Chelsea set up record £44m deal for Ribéry

Kenyon reaches advanced negotiations with Bayern as midfielder wants £6m a year

Chelsea have tabled an audacious €50m (£43.7m) bid to bring Bayern Munich's Franck Ribéry to Stamford Bridge this summer.

The bid, sanctioned by the club's chief executive Peter Kenyon, was tabled several weeks ago and discussions are ongoing, though the Frenchman's salary demands appear to present an obstacle to a deal which would raise serious questions about Didier Drogba's future in west London. Chelsea are understood to have offered the Bayern player's representatives an annual net salary of €5.5m (£4.7m). Ribéry is holding out for €7m (£6m). But discussions on price are understood to be well down the line for a deal which offers further evidence that the Milan manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is destined for Chelsea.

Ancelotti revealed yesterday that he had indicated to Chelsea's proprietor Roman Abramovich that Ribéry was a player he should buy. Ancelotti said that he had told Abramovich that he needed "more quality in the middle of the pitch". He continued: "I gave him two names – Franck Ribéry and Xabi Alonso – as players that would have made him very happy." Ancelotti's indiscreet disclosures in his autobiography do not appear to be deterring Abramovich from hiring him in the next few days.

Manchester United have also been linked with Ribéry, whose future at the Allianz Arena is in doubt after Jürgen Klinsmann's departure from the club – though Old Trafford has rejected in the strongest possible terms any suggestion they might covet him. United's offer was said to have been considerably greater than Chelsea's – €70m (£62.5m) – but Chelsea's own bid to secure the services of the player is still near the world record £46m paid by Real Madrid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

The increasing likelihood that Cristiano Ronaldo will remain with United next season further detracts from any suggestion that Ribéry might be United's this summer.

Ribéry earns €8m a year in Munich, the equivalent of £134,000 a week, so Chelsea are well short of parity and the unfavourable exchange rate will make the amount even greater – around £145,000 a week – to match his Bayern salary. Chelsea hope they can capitalise on Barcelona's own failure to capture a player who did not disguise his disappointment after Klinsmann's side's poor 5-1 aggregate defeat to the Catalans in the quarter-final of the Champions League. Word of the Barcelona discussions with Ribéry's representatives leaked out and that saw discussions grind to a halt.

Though Ancelotti suggests in his book that a year ago Abramovich admitted to Ancelotti that his Chelsea team "has no personality," Hiddink yesterday said personality was one thing Ancelotti does not lack.

Hiddink, whose final game in charge of the Blues will be Saturday's FA Cup final with Everton, described Ancelotti as "very direct and open" – much the same words Chelsea players use when talking about Hiddink himself.

But he believes it is vital that the incoming manager must be able to speak directly to the players in a common tongue, which means Ancelotti had better start taking double English lessons right away.

Hiddink said: "I know the man personally. I've met him several times. The last time was at Jaap Stam's farewell game in Holland. He and I were on the same bench coaching the 1998 Dutch team against the side where Jaap had his first game.

"We had a nice game, a nice evening together. He's a very, very nice person. Very direct and open. Seeing his career in Italy, his playing career but also his managing career, it's full of prizes and experience."

Asked how important it was that the new Chelsea manager speaks good English, the erudite Dutchman replied: "It is important to communicate directly with the players."

Hiddink enjoys a healthy working relationship with Abramovich, a relationship Ancelotti might not be able to emulate, given the degree of openness in his new book, which was launched in Rome on Tuesday. The extent of Hiddink's closeness to Abramovich was revealed yesterday when Hiddink said it was the Russian oligarch who lifted him out of his dark mood following Chelsea's controversial elimination by Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final three weeks ago.

Hiddink said: "After Barcelona I was not in the best state of mind and then I saw him the next day at the training ground he said, 'Be proud because you have made a good impression world wide with the way you have played'."

Image is important to Abramovich, who dismissed Jose Mourinho because he believed he was giving the club a bad name. Hiddink can reflect on a job well done, in that he has managed, by and large, to repair the damage done to Chelsea's reputation, while overseeing a revival on the pitch.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions