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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 7, 2006

Chelsea on alert as Joaquin eyes move

Chelsea are almost certain to be among the interested parties after Real Betis winger Joaquin confirmed he is ready to quit Spain.

Jose Mourinho has been a long time admirer of the 24-year-old and the Barclays Premiership champions have often been linked with a move for the Spanish star.

But despite the interest in his talents, the player opted to remain with Betis. However, a poor season at the wrong end of the Primera table has convinced Joaquin to seek pastures new in the summer.

'I am open to everything,' said Joaquin.

'It is possible my time at Betis has come to an end and the club need to sell me to strengthen the team.

'If I got an opportunity to see what it is like to play this sport abroad, I would be prepared to take that step and try my luck in another country.'

Joaquin's remarks are certain be noted by Mourinho event though the Portuguese coach has more pressing matters to attend to this weekend.

Chelsea's lead at the top of the Barclays Premiership has been slashed to just seven points over Manchester United and the pressure is increasing on Mourinho and his squad.

Chelsea face West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and the club's England midfielder Joe Cole is confident they can rediscover their scoring touch to remain on course for back-to-back titles.

Cole said: 'Seven points is still a big gap over Manchester United and we are confident of securing the title again.

'We have six games to play and four wins is what we need to achieve doing that.

'We just need to get back to winning ways. We have not been as clinical in front of goal and that seems to be costing us at the moment.

'William Gallas has been a big miss for us in the team but we are missing chances and we are confident of changing that in the next few games.

'We need to get back to the way we were playing against Manchester City and Tottenham in the first half.'

Three of the victories Chelsea need to ensure they are champions again should come from their home games against West Ham, Everton and United.

The clash against Sir Alex Ferguson's side has the potential to become a title showdown if the Blues fail to make the most of their seven-point advantage in the meantime.

Cole added: 'The most important thing is that we win our home games and I'm sure we will be okay.'

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