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Manchester City
By ESPN Staff

Robinho's Chelsea move in the balance

Chelsea's hopes of landing Robinho ahead of the Premier League season could hinge on the suggestions in Spain he is demanding a fresh deal from Real Madrid to double his wages. The Brazil forward is believed to interested in joining Luiz Felipe Scolari, with Chelsea pursuing the 24-year-old but failing to lodge a bid close enough to the £27million he is valued at by the Spanish outfit. Robinho would give Scolari more options in attack, with Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko not expected to feature at the start of the season. Despite their injury problems, midfielder Michael Ballack believes they have the quality to challenge for all four competitions next season. He told Chelsea TV: 'In Germany we always said the biggest thing to win is the league title, because it is a competition for the whole season, so we are looking for this title and also the Champions League. 'We have a big target to win not just one title, but go for all four, so we need a big squad. 'The last few seasons we have done very well and we were very close. But we want to win these titles and this season we will try again.' Ballack admits he was struggling for motivation a year ago when he was recovering from ankle surgery - but his form since returning took him within sight of the Premier League title, the Champions League and the European Championship with Germany. He continued: 'If you don't know [what's wrong] after about five or six months and you have no improvement it is difficult in your mind to motivate yourself. 'To walk in the gym, to walk with the physio and feel a little bit of an improvement, then you get the motivation and you can keep going. 'But if you have no improvement then that's difficult, and so I was very happy after I came back in December to play and come so close to a title.' Full-back Ashley Cole agrees with Ballack about the expectations at Stamford Bridge this season. 'The confidence among the players is as high as I have known,' he added. 'Every player has looked back at last season and seen how close we were despite the injuries and everything that happened. 'We have improved the squad with the players we have signed and everyone has improved as players as well - I think this year will be our season.'

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster sees no problem with Robinho's attitude despite suggestions he is unhappy with the way he is being treated by the Spanish champions.

Robinho's agent Wagner Ribeiro was quoted as saying last week that the forward was 'very angry' at Madrid for being treated like an 'average player'.

However, if that is the case then it does not appear to be affecting Robinho's work, with Schuster admitting: 'Robinho looks good to me. He's been training like the rest and with the same happiness that is characteristic of him. There is nothing more to say.'


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