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Council pledge help for Stamford Bridge

Hammersmith and Fulham Counci have pledged to help Chelsea upgrade their Stamford Bridge stadium after the club's ambitious bid to move to Battersea Power Station failed.

Chelsea had wanted to build a 60,000 seater ground on the disused site in south west London, just over three miles from their current home, but this week a proposal from two Malysian companies was granted preferred bidder status.

The club have been keen to find a new site in order to expand on their current 42,000 capacity at Stamford Bridge, which lacks the sufficient space in the surrounding area for a major redevelopment.

But the new leader of Chelsea's local council, Nicholas Botterill, has attempted to instigate fresh discussions with the club, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, in a bid to get the European champions to stay put.

"It now looks highly unlikely that CFC will be moving away from their historic home,'' he said. "The council remains committed to working with the club to explore all possible avenues for keeping the Blues here at their original home.

"The door is open and the council is again ready to sit down and discuss how Stamford Bridge can be appropriately upgraded so that it is fit for one of Europe's leading football clubs.''

Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly close to sealing the capture of Anderlecht starlet Charly Musonda Jr, after the Belgian club confirmed he is free to move on.

But the club's general manager Herman Van Holsbeeck refused to reveal if the 16-year-old was on the verge of a transfer to Chelsea, in a deal that could also include his two brothers Lamisha and Tika, although both would command a transfer fee.

"Musonda is not yet sixteen years, he can decide what he wants. He is free to sign wherever he wants," he told Voetbal Nieuws.

"If they want a package deal, then they must first talk with Anderlecht. Both players are still under contract. Or have they already contacted us? We will only comment when there is something tangible."

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