Chelsea have denied tabling a world-record offer for AC Milan's Kaka as the transfer rumour mill went into overdrive at the start of their Asian tour. The Blues' chief executive Peter Kenyon dismissed reports of a 150-million-euro bid for the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, and said negotiations with the Italian club had stalled.
"There was no offer made. I have read the same articles. They have made it clear that he is not for sale and we will make it clear we have not made an offer," Kenyon said after arriving in China PR. "There is no reason to negotiate over something they don't want to do and we have not made an offer."
But Kenyon said Chelsea were still talking to Real Madrid about forward Robinho, who is reportedly being off-loaded as the Spanish giants woo Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. British media reported the London club has offered £25 million for the 24-year-old Brazilian.
"It is well noted we have shown interest. We have had discussions with Madrid over it and they are ongoing. The window is still open and we are still talking to Madrid," Kenyon said.
Scolari wants Lampard to stay
Transfer speculation threatened to overshadow the start of Chelsea's tour, which also includes trips to Macau and Malaysia before they head off to Russia. New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari scotched renewed doubts over Didier Drogba's future after the striker missed the trip through injury, making him the only high-profile absentee.
"Didier is injured. The doctor and our medical staff made a plan to have him training and playing in maybe three or four weeks," Scolari said. "But at this moment it's impossible for Didier to come with us."
However, Scolari, whose first match in charge is against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical on Wednesday, was boosted by the presence of key midfielder Frank Lampard, despite persistent interest from Inter Milan. "He is training every day in the morning and afternoon very well. The most important thing is that he is here with us," said the former Portugal coach.
"I have spoken to him every day, talking about Chelsea, about what's the best way for Chelsea to play and when training with the other players what's the best position for him. I have spoken about how to win games with Chelsea and no more."
Captain John Terry also made a fresh appeal for Lampard to stay at Stamford Bridge. ". We are here to focus on the football, but hopefully while he's here the club can sort it out," said the England defender.
New signings Deco and Jose Bosingwa have both joined the trip as Chelsea look to improve on last season's runners-up finishes in both the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League. Scolari inherited the current squad from former managers Avram Grant and Jose Mourinho, and so far only two players have been offloaded: Hernan Crespo on a free transfer and Steve Sidwell to Aston Villa for £5.5 million.
He will be keenly aware of owner Roman Abramovich's sky-high expectations, with Grant dumped despite taking the team to their first Champions League final. Scolari pointed to a previous trip to the region, when his Brazil side won the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ after also visiting Malaysia. "Maybe the same thing can happen for us," he said.