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Real Madrid are top of the class

Power Rankings about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 24, 2008

Chelsea confirm continued pursuit of Robinho

Chelsea have confirmed their pursuit of Real Madrid striker Robinho is ongoing despite reports the Brazilian is set to remain in the Spanish capital.

Robinho was reported to have expressed an interest in joining Chelsea, but was quoted by Spanish media insisting he would like to remain with the Primera Liga champions.

Further reports have now emerged claiming he has agreed a new five-year contract to remain at the Bernabeu until 2013.

But shortly after touching down in Macau ahead of Saturday's friendly with Chinese Super League side Chengdu Blades, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon insisted discussions with Madrid were continuing.

'The speculation surrounding Chelsea in any transfer window is enormous,' he said.

'We have confirmed we are interested in Robinho and have had some conversations with the club. That is ongoing and as the coach has said, he is a player we have identified as a talent.

'If we could get him it would add to what we have got, but if it doesn't happen, the objectives of Chelsea are not going to change.'

Blues coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was quick to praise the 24-year-old but also conceded speculation surrounding Chelsea would continue until the transfer deadline on August 31.

'Robinho is a great player, he plays for one of the best teams in the world and also Brazil,' said the 59-year-old, who guided the South Americans to World Cup glory in 2002.

'But at the moment it is not more than speculation. It is the time of the year for speculation, it is the time for agents to put one player here and then there.'

The former Portugal coach again refused to be drawn by comments from Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson that Chelsea will not mount a title challenge due to the age of the Blues squad.

'We are diversified - we have young players and mature players,' he added. 'I strongly believe we can produce what is required this season.'

When pressed about what targets he had been set for the upcoming season, Scolari refused to compare himself with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was continually set tough goals by Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

'My way with Chelsea is the same way I have used with my previous clubs and national teams - to win. It is the same, this is my way. I only follow this way,' he said.

'I am Luiz Felipe Scolari, I am not Jose Mourinho and I follow my way not the other way. I do not know if Mourinho said what he could achieve, but I tell my players we need to win, this is all I tell them.'

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