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Shevchenko Happy to Return to Chelsea, but Privately Expects Transfer

He’s back, and definitely not at all disappointed to be. The Ukrainian international has publicly declared himself happy to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge, but privately expects to be offloaded before the summer is out…

Didier Drogba is one of the players standing in the way of a happy Chelsea return for Shevchenko...

Didier Drogba is one of the players standing in the way of a happy Chelsea return for Shevchenko...

After an unsuccessful loan spell at the club where he made his name, Andriy Shevchenko is back at Chelsea — the club where his reputation was damaged so greatly — in the hope of rebuilding it once again.

Having failed to make a real impact during last season’s return to AC Milan — scoring just twice in nine starts — the Ukranian striker will make his way back to Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season, and is positive about the opportunity.

“I have one year left on my contract with Chelsea,” Shevchenko told Corriere dello Sport, “and I intend to respect it and honour it in the best possible way.”

With Chelsea welcoming a new manager in Carlo Ancelotti — who oversaw Shevchenko during his successful period at AC Milan, where he netted 127 times in 208 games — the 32-year-old is hopeful that working oncenmore with the Italian manager will help him rediscover his prolific goalscoring touch.

“I have spoken to the coach who has given me an appointment for pre-season training,” he said. “On 9 July I will join Chelsea in pre-season training. Then we will see what happens.”

 However, it is by no means certain that Shevchenko will be around for the season’s opener against Hull City. The club are well known to be looking to offload players in order to bring in fresh blood, and while Shevchenko would not command a large transfer fee, removing his salary from the wage bill (believed to be around £120,000-a-week) would be an attractive proposition.

Equally, while Ancelotti and Shevchenko enjoy a long working relationship, there is no guarantee that the Italian will hand the striker many first-team opportunities. Last year at Milan Alexandre Pato was preferred to Shevchenko, and Ancelotti has seemed keen to take the Brazilian with him to Stamford Bridge — suggesting Shevchenko is not too key to his plans.

With last year’s Premiership top scorer, Nicolas Anelka, on the club’s books alongside the mercurial Didier Drogba, Shevchenko will have to be on sparkling form to force regular first-team football, a task he could not manage in his first spell at the club.

A transfer, therefore, looks the most probable option. AS Roma are one side believed to be interested in signing Shevchenko, and the striker is not ruling out such a move:

“If there was a concrete offer then I would evaluate it together with Chelsea,” said Shevchenko. “If it will not be possible to continue my career at Chelsea then I will look at other options. I consider [Roma coach Luciano] Spalletti a great coach, serious and prepared. He is able to bring out the best of his players. When I met him there was a good feeling between us.”

Outwardly content to be returning to Chelsea, it seems few Blues fans should expect one of the club’s biggest transfer flops of recent times to be around by the end of the transfer window.

June 22, 2009 - Posted by | Sport, World Football | , ,

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