Chelsea play down Lippi link | World Soccer

Man Utd have won nine & drawn two of their last eleven clashes with Spurs. Click here for the latest odds!

Chelsea have given their backing to coach Jose Mourinho, amid reports that they have lined up Marcello Lippi as their next manager.

“No list of candidates has been drawn up to replace Jose Mourinho,” said a Chelsea statement.

“Nobody from Chelsea has spoken to Mr Lippi or his representatives or indeed anyone regarding the manager’s job.

“As previously stated, Jose Mourinho has a contract until 2010 and has the support of everybody at Chelsea.”

There has been ongoing speculation over recent weeks of a rift between Mourinho and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Mourinho himself recently expressed a desire to see out his current deal.

“I don’t have to be confident I am staying. I have a contract until 2010, which is important,” he said.

“I am manager today, I am the manager until the end of the season and I believe I will be the manager until the end of 2010.

“If I believe what I read in the press there are 11 candidates for my job but I don’t get influenced by that.”

Wanted list
Earlier this week, former Italy’s World Cup winning coach Lippi, claimed he was on Chelsea’s wanted list.

“I’m on the wanted list at a number of big clubs, but specifically at Chelsea,” he said.

“I know I’m a good coach and if anyone is surprised about top clubs like Chelsea wanting me then I just point to my record.

“I have coached teams which have reached the Champions League final four times, I’ve won Serie A five times and of course the World Cup, too.

“If anyone thinks that a move to a big English club is beyond me then I’d just say ‘give me a break’.”

He is taking a year off from the game after his success with the Italy at last summer’s World Cup finals.

Although Lippi has spent all his career in Italy, he says language will be no barrier if he comes to England.

“There are already a number of foreign coaches working in England, so I cannot see why people might say that Chelsea is not the place for me.”

“I’m ready, willing and enthusiastic to coach in England even though I know that people mistakenly say I can´t speak English.

“What such people forget is that football is multi-lingual — every major club has players from many different countries and I can speak enough English and French as well as Italian.

“There are already a number of foreign coaches working in England so I cannot see why people might say that Chelsea is not the place for me.

World Soccer editor Gavin Hamilton on the speculation linking Lippi with Chelsea.

Man Utd have won nine & drawn two of their last eleven clashes with Spurs. Click here for the latest odds!

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