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Ancelotti plays down impact of Blues ban

Carlo Ancelotti is confident that the transfer embargo placed on Chelsea will not harm the club in the short term, but the Italian is hopeful that the punishment will be reduced on appeal.

Chelsea have been banned from making any new signings in the next two transfer windows having been found guilty by FIFA of inducing French midfielder Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens in 2007.

The club are mounting a vigorous appeal though and the case will be heard in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with Ancelotti hopeful that the body will find in favour of the Premier League club. But on a short-term basis, Ancelotti believes Chelsea's ambitions will not be directly impacted by the punishment.

"The decision was a surprise for me. But now the club are appealing, and we have to wait for a good result for us,'' said Ancelotti. "We hope that they overturn the decision. Now, the transfer embargo is not a problem because we have a very good team and very good players - but in the future, we'll have to wait and see.

"Now I have to think about my job and about my players. I haven't spoken to owner Roman Abramovich about it, but it's not necessary for me to do that. I don't have to speak to Roman about this situation.''

Chelsea travel to Stoke City on Saturday looking to maintain their 100% start to the season but summer signing Yuri Zhirkov is still absent with a knee problem. The Russia international is yet to made his Premier League debut but does not require an operation, according to his manager.

"Now, at the moment, we don't think he needs surgery,'' said Ancelotti. "He's working with the team. Yesterday he worked with us. We have to control the situation. For the moment, he's not very well but he is improving. Next week we have to control his body. If he has improved, he can start to play matches again.

"He is improving. He didn't play with the national team because he's not fit now, but he is improving. At the moment, he doesn't need surgery.''


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