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Blues play down Abramovich visit

Chelsea have insisted there were no ulterior motives for owner Roman Abramovich's visit to the club's training ground on Saturday, after reports claimed the Russian had showdown talks with Andre Villas-Boas.

• Villas-Boas wants circus to end

Abramovich, at the Stamford Bridge helm since 2003, made a rare trip to Cobham before attending the Blues' 3-3 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The Russian spoke with Villas-Boas for 20 minutes after the session, but a Chelsea spokesman claimed there was nothing sinister about the pair's meeting.

"Roman likes to get down to Cobham and watch training whenever he can," a spokesman said. "He was able to visit on Saturday and he and Andre had a good chat after the training session, which is normal."

It is thought to be the first time Abramovich has seen Chelsea train this season, and he also spoke with players for 30 minutes after the United game.

Villas-Boas has struggled to put his stamp on the Blues since arriving from Porto last summer, but Abramovich has thus far appeared to afford the Portuguese boss more patience than the previous managers during his tenure.

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