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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 19, 2008

Chelsea new-boy Deco pleads with Drogba to stay

New Chelsea signing Deco has pleaded with Didier Drogba to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Deco, who has arrived from Barcelona for around £8million, has stated that Frank Lampard's quality will be needed to win the Champions League and he also feels Drogba's firepower is essential.

Drogba has been tipped to leave Stamford Bridge since the departure of Jose Mourinho but could now stay, with a decision expected in the next week.

'Obviously at this time many, many clubs are looking to buy a forward and it's difficult for most teams and Drogba is one of he best centre forwards in the world,' said Deco. 'All the big clubs will want a player like him.

'I don't know if he will stay or not. I did speak to him and I told him I'd love him to stay and I'd love to play with him, he is a fantastic player but transfer conversations are not for me to say anything.

'I just hope he can stay with us because he is one of the best forwards in the world and to win the Champions League you need players like Drogba. I'm not surprised that clubs are trying to get him out of Chelsea but I do hope he stays with us.'

Lampard's future has been uncertain as there has been no agreement on a new contract to extend his current deal, which expires in a year.

Mourinho is keen to take him to Inter Milan and Massimo Moratti, president for the Italian club, claims that the midfielder has his heart set on a move.

He told his club's official website: 'For the acquisition of Lampard we need to have patience. We have the player's approval but we have to respect Chelsea's rights.

'His club have every right to keep him.'

Lampard has still been training under new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's tough new regime.

'During training, he is harder but that is normal,' Deco said. 'He is a very friendly, affectionate guy but when he works, he takes it very seriously.

'He wants players to be dedicated - not playing around. You have to work hard.'

Deco is friends with Cristiano Ronaldo but, regardless of whether he stays at Manchester United, does not feel his Portugal team-mate will affect Chelsea's chances this season.

'For Chelsea, I feel we are strong enough to beat anyone,' Deco said.

'I don't know if it's difficult for him or not. We are talking about two very big clubs - maybe winning the Champions League makes him feel as if he needs to go, but I don't want to talk about him, I just want him to make the decision that is best for him and be happy.'

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