Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to hand Luiz Felipe Scolari unlimited access to the club coffers when the Brazilian takes charge of the team next month, reports said Friday.
Scolari is set to take up his post with the English Premier League high-flyers after leading Portugal through the Euro 2008.
According to reports, the 59-year-old who led his native Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002 can look forward to having some of the world’s biggest players at his disposal as Abramovich strives for his team to play a more attractive style of attacking football.
The Times newspaper speculated that Scolari, announced as Chelsea’s new boss on Wednesday, has been handed a player wish-list that includes Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, Bayern Munich’s Frank Ribery and AC Milan forward Kaka.
Reports from Madrid meanwhile said Chelsea are also hoping to lure Brazil-born Portuguese midfielder Deco and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona.
Marca sports daily, without naming any sources, claimed: “Barcelona is currently tying up a deal that will see Deco and Eto’o being sold to Chelsea for 55 million euros.”
Chelsea may have to offer up some of their own talent, especially if they are determined to lure Torres from Anfield and prise Kaka away from the San Siro.
According to some reports, Chelsea would be ready to use Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba and Ukrainian marksman Andriy Shevchenko as powerful bargaining chips in their bid for Kaka, who is said to be worth upwards of 60 million pounds (76 million euros).
Nevertheless AC Milan reacted quickly on Friday to the news that Chelsea may be targeting their top striker.
A report on the BBC quoted the club’s technical director Leonardo as saying Kaka was simply not for sale: “It’s normal for a Brazilian coach to try to bring in Brazilian players.
“But signing Kaka is impossible, because he is here at AC Milan and will be here until the end of his career.”
Torres, meanwhile, said recently he was happy at Liverpool, where he has just capped his first season by scoring 33 goals.
However The Times reported that one of the club’s American owners would allow Torres to be sold if the price was right.
In the absence of official statements from both Chelsea and Scolari on which players are being targeted, some reports suggest the players currently lighting up the Euro 2008 are being watched closely.
The Daily Telegraph suggested that Torres’ international teammate David Villa – who scored a hat-trick in Spain’s 4-1 win over Russia – would be a realistic alternative to the expenside Kaka.
And at reportedly half the price, his club, Valencia, may be more willing to sell.
Scolari’s first competitive game as Chelsea manager will be the first Premier League match of the 2008-09 season on the weekend of 16-17 August.
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