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By ESPN Staff

Ballack excited at prospect of linking with Sheva

Germany captain Michael Ballack has expressed his excitement at the prospect of playing alongside Andriy Shevchenko for Chelsea next season.

Ukraine skipper Shevchenko has joined Chelsea from AC Milan in an estimated £30million transfer which will spearhead the club's attack in the Barclays Premiership and Champions League.

Ballack was full of praise for the 29-year-old who has been a prolific scorer in Europe and Serie A for several seasons.

Speaking at Germany's World Cup training camp in Dusseldorf, Ballack said: 'I am very happy to play with him next year. He is a great player and I am really excited.

'I have not been in touch with him over the transfer and have not spoken to him since.

'I will wait until after the World Cup to get started with such things.'

England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard also welcomed Shevchenko's arrival at Stamford Bridge - hailing the transfer as a 'great buy'.

Lampard added: 'He is a fantastic striker, the top striker in world football over the last five, six or seven years for his consistency of goalscoring.

'I've enjoyed watching him and he's the sort of player you love to have in your team. It's a great buy for us.'

Meanwhile, Didier Drogba is ready to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for his first team place following the arrivals of Salomon Kalou and Shevchenko.

The Chelsea futures of both Drogba and team-mate Hernan Crespo have have come under intense speculation as the club swooped to add Kalou and Shevchenko to the squad.

Drogba was linked with a move to Lyon but the Ivory Coast striker is now understood to have told the French champions that he will be staying in London.

Lyon's director of sport, Bernard Lacombe, said: 'Didier will not be coming to Lyon. He said that Jose Mourinho wanted to build the team around him and Shevchenko.'

Mourinho is also fighting to persuade French defender William Gallas to remain with the Barclays Premiership champions.

Gallas has one year remaining on his current contract at Stamford Bridge and he was expected to join AC Milan following the transfer of Shevchenko to Chelsea.

The French defender insists he wants to leave Chelsea after five years but the club are making renewed efforts to keep him and Mourinho wants the board to reward the player with a five-year contract.

Mourinho has also confirmed that he hopes to sign Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos whose long-term future at the club looks in doubt with Spaniards only offering the player a one-year extension.

The 33-year-old claims to have been offered a three-year deal by Chelsea which he is considering while on World Cup duty with Brazil.

Mourinho told Portuguese television station TVI: 'Roberto is 33 but I consider him to be the best in his position and I wish it would be possible.'