Scolari believes £30m Robinho can lift Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari yesterday gave the broadest hint that Robinho was on his way to Stamford Bridge by admitting that the £30m-rated Brazilian could be the missing link in his title-chasing squad. As the player revealed he was determined to leave Real Madrid, Scolari said he was keen to link up with his 24-year-old compatriot. "I don't know what's happening but he's a fantastic player and every coach in the world wants him," Scolari said. "One player is not going to make a difference to whether we win or lose but I like his style. We need someone who can make a difference so that we can change our system when we need to. If we only have one system, it's easier for the opposition."

Real have reportedly rejected one offer from Chelsea but Robinho seems determined to move to London. "I want to leave," he was quoted in Spain. "I've told the president, the directors and the coach. I want to play in the Premier League. Chelsea have a great squad. My personal aim is to be the best player in the world and that isn't going to be possible at Real Madrid."

Scolari, continuing his charm offensive yesterday, told reporters he did not have much time to talk since his family "had to eat" and he was on his way to the supermarket. Whatever he ended up purchasing, chances are he won't be sharing it with Andrei Shevchenko, increasingly linked with a return to Milan where he scored 127 times in 208 games and is the club's second most prolific scorer of all time.

Scolari admitted that the Ukrainian forward was in Milan on Thursday and had skipped training, fuelling reports of an imminent exit after two disappointing years at Stamford Bridge. The stumbling block appears to be Milan's wish to take the player on loan with an option to buy whereas Chelsea want a full sale. "I have an opinion and I give that to the board," Scolari said cryptically. Chelsea's number one striker Didier Drogba, meanwhile, is still out and misses the game against Wigan tomorrow.

Scolari insisted, not altogether convincingly, that Frank Lampard, who has just signed a new contract, had shown no ill-effects from his traumatic display for England in midweek when he was booed off when substituted. "Frank has been happy in training and knows very well what his position is here. This sort of thing is normal in football, whether you are a player or a coach."

Scolari expressed his surprise at the imminent departure of the FA chief executive, Brian Barwick, after four years in the job. It was Barwick who took the brunt for the bungling approach to Scolari to replace Sven Goran Eriksson as England manager before compromising with Steve McClaren. "I am surprised because I have said it before and I will say it again, he's a good man."