Chelsea to renew Ribery pursuit
Chelsea believe they will win any appeal against their two-window transfer ban with the expectation of landing £60m Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich next summer.
Chelsea plan to present their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, with the club's lawyers working feverishly on how to go about lifting the ban, while the usual intermediaries have been setting up the deal for Ribery.
ESPN Soccernet has been informed that Roman Abramovich will sanction a new British transfer record fee for Ribery, which will be in the region of £60m.
The Chelsea owner realises that to compete with big spending Manchester City, and the lure of Manchester United, he has to renew his desire to spend big.
A source close to the action told ESPN Soccernet: "Ribery is the one Chelsea want, and I believe they will get him in the summer. I can also tell you that although Ribery said how much he wanted to join Real Madrid, he would have signed for Chelsea in the summer, but an agreement between the clubs couldn't be reached."
However, there is a growing belief that Abramovich regrets not pushing out the boat (and the Russian oligarch has quite a few) to land Ribery, but won't make the same mistake again next summer.
This summer, Abramovich was told that Ribery's valuation by Bayern was way over the top, but market forces have now moved on with Manchester City setting the transfer bar even higher.
The Premier League leaders are away to Aston Villa this Saturday and believe they can overturn the ban based on the Gaël Kakuta judgment.
Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer insisted only three months ago when Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City were linked with that unsettled Ribery that the brilliant French winger could leave the club - for 94 million euros (£80 million).
"Should Bayern let Ribery go? Of course we wish to get the market price - and if Cristiano Ronaldo is worth 94 million euros, then Franck Ribery is worth a comparable sum," Beckenbauer told the Sport Bild newspaper. "If we do not receive an offer at this level, then he should honour his contract until 2011," he added.
The German football legend accused the 26-year-old French international of disloyalty to Bayern Munich by wanting to leave. Ribery, a member of the Munich squad for the past two years, is known to be attracted by the lure of a move to Real Madrid, but the high- spending Spanish club baulked at the multi-million euro price tag set by the south German giants.
Beckenbauer, writing in his column, added: "All the fuss is unnecessary, particularly when a new coach [Dutchman Louis Van Gaal] has taken over and wants to prepare in a calm atmosphere. The coach does not want to be listening every day to talk about Ribery."
But fast forward to next summer and with Ribery's contract drawing to an end, Bayern will drop their price considerably, and Chelsea will be hoping to land their man for less than £80m. Starting with a bid of £50m plus add-ons to take it to £60m, the Blues are desperate to secure the services of a player who they believe can land Abramovich the coveted Champions League and Premier League titles.