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Sunday, 4 June, 2000, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Bates shuts door on Desailly
Ken Bates has angrily denied reports of French defender Marcel Desailly's imminent departure to Manchester United.
Desailly's agent Pape Diouf had claimed that the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, had contacted him about the French international's future.
"My answer is simple. The only chance Ferguson has of getting his man is if we get Beckham, Cole and cash," the Chelsea chairman told the Daily Mirror.
Desailly, resting after France's 2-2 draw with Japan, admits it would be "a dream" to play for United, insists he will remain loyal to Chelsea if they want to keep him for the two years remaining of his contract.
"I'm aware of Alex Ferguson's intentions and I'm flattered," Desailly said.
"Who wouldn't dream of playing for Manchester United, even if eight other top European clubs are currently interested in me?
"For now I'm a Chelsea player and I intend to respect the club which employs me.
As far as negotiations go, it's not only up to me, it concerns Chelsea and the other clubs and I'll be keeping a close watch on the situation."
Bates is furious at what he sees is an illegal approach for the Ghana-born star and could report the matter to the Football Association.
Desailly admits there are a number of options he is considering.
"To say Manchester United is a priority for me would be a bit hasty because it's an offer, prestigious though it is, among many others that have come my way."
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