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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 30, 2006

'Mourinho wouldn't have quit Chelsea' - Kenyon

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon insists Jose Mourinho never seriously considered quitting Stamford Bridge.

The Blues retained their Barclays Premiership crown with a 3-0 victory over Manchester United but celebrations were interrupted by Mourinho's admission he had contemplated walking away on two occasions this season.

Mourinho claimed that despite Chelsea's successful title defence he was not happy because his achievements and those of the club are never properly recognised.

But Kenyon today reassured fans that Mourinho's future remains in west London.

He told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: 'Jose wasn't close to leaving at all. He's a very emotional guy. He's somebody that...things happened and everybody moves on.

'That's what happened. It was never a question of him going, it was never serious. There's no question that he won't be here next year.

'He's proud and sometimes he doesn't understand why he doesn't get the credit he think we deserve and we support him in that.

'This is a great team and there's no question he'll be here for many years to come. He knows what we want to achieve and has the resources to do it. Jose doesn't let himself down.'

Kenyon dismissed suggestions his relationship with Mourinho is frosty and admitted his surprise that Chelsea were not given more support during their Champions League campaign.

The chief executive continued: 'It's absolute rubbish that me and Jose don't get on.

'I have great respect for him. These stories are completely untrue and I get fed up with denying them.

'They always appear around big games. When it's an English team in Europe it's my view and his view that we should get support and we don't always get that, which is disappointing.'

Chelsea's preparations for next season are well under way with the champions hoping to bring three new faces to Stamford Bridge during the transfer window.

Mourinho wants to maintain the size of his 24-man squad so a trio of players will be leaving in the summer with Kenyon revealing Shaun Wright-Phillips and Didier Drogba are not among them.

One new arrival will almost certainly be Michael Ballack and Kenyon hopes to complete a deal for the Germany midfielder before the World Cup begins in 40 days time.

'We started the season expecting to win trophies and next season will be no different. We can improve and will improve,' he said.

'We've already started looking at what the team will be next season. We're going to bring some more players in and move some out. It's a constant process of improving the team.

'Jose has said he is looking at a figure of three new players and we're looking at identifying those now. One of them is clearly Michael Ballack.

'I'd like to think we're close to getting him and we'll have it done by the World Cup. He'll improve what is already a fantastic squad. I think it will be a busy summer.

'We've got a 24-man squad and we want to maintain that. That's right for the competitions we're in and from a rotation point of view.

'It will be three in and three out. Absolutely Shaun Wright-Phillips will be at the club, and yes Didier Drogba too.'

Kenyon regrets failing to lure England striker Wayne Rooney to Chelsea but is confident the targets on Mourinho's current wish-list will deliver further success.

'Yes I do regret not signing Wayne Rooney. He is a great player. He has a great future and is a stand out player,' he said.

'It would have been fantastic for him and us if he'd been at Chelsea. But he's at Manchester United and you can't get everybody.

'It hasn't stopped us winning back-to-back championships. You never say never but I'm convinced that what we'll bring in next season will move us on as a team.'