Fabio Capello insists he is committed to Russia's 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying campaign and has no knowledge of any interest from Chelsea. The former England manager is among a number of coaches who have been linked with the Stamford Bridge hot-seat in the summer, when interim boss Rafael Benitez will leave the club.
But he is currently employed by the Russian FA and has made a strong start, topping Group F with four consecutive wins on the road to Rio. His pay packet, a reported £7m per year, is also a hefty incentive to remain in Moscow.
Capello's side take on Northern Ireland tomorrow night before decamping to London for a friendly with Brazil on Monday. That takes place at Stamford Bridge, of all places, but the Italian did his best to dampen any speculation.
He said: "I know nothing about this [link to Chelsea]. I am really happy with Russia and focused to qualify for the World Cup."
Capello refuses to take Irish test lightly
Capello was not interested in discussing the Blues job any further, instead turning his attention to the inhospitable conditions in Belfast. Russia are well used to the chilling temperatures forecast at Windsor Park tomorrow, but Capello is mostly concerned about the strong wind he experienced at today's training session.
"I am not concerned about the pitch, more about the wind than the pitch," he said. "If we play in this wind it will be a difficult game. I hope the wind will be lower or it will be a different type of game."
Capello caused a stir when Michael O'Neill's side visited Moscow, when he appeared to treat victory as a formality prior to the match. A 2-0 win duly followed but his tone was more respectful today.
"They are a strong team and play a really combative game," he said. "They are dangerous from set-pieces. It is not an easy game but I have confidence in my team.
"We have Portugal and Israel to come but I am focused on this game. Every game is difficult."