'Ballack and Lampard will play together' - Mourinho

May 15, 2006

Jose Mourinho insists Michael Ballack will play in Chelsea's midfield with Frank Lampard.

GettyImagesMichael Ballack: Here for the long run

Ballack's move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Bayern Munich sparked a debate about where it would leave Blues star Lampard.

The two players have a similar style, driving forward from central midfield to score goals, but Mourinho insists there is room in his team for both.

Mourinho said: 'How will it affect Lampard? It will affect him a lot because he wants top players to play with him and the team wants top players to improve the very good team we have.

'As a coach I will look forward to working with them. My intention is to play both together and to try to extract the best they can give to the team.'

Mourinho expects to return to the transfer market this summer with a world-class striker still at the top of his shopping list.

AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko, Inter Milan's Adriano and Carlos Tevez of Corinthians, in Brazil, are among those heavily linked with the Blues.

Mourinho said: 'Michael is not the first of many signings but he is the first of a few.

'We don't need a lot of players, we just need two or three very good players.

'We have been champions for two consecutive years and want to be more than that.

'The next step is for two or three special players to join the special team we have to make it better.'

The Chelsea boss welcomed new signing Ballack, 29, to Stamford Bridge and said: 'Chelsea are happy but English football should also be happy.

'The Premiership wants to be the best in the world and this is the type of player that makes the Premiership better and better.

'He is a champion coming here to help us to follow the targets we have for the next year.

'I know he will achieve much success in English football.'