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Amauri reveals Chelsea interest

By Saj Chowdhury

Palermo striker Amauri
Brazilian Amauri is one of Serie A's leading scorers

Palermo's 19m-rated striker Amauri has revealed that Premier League side Chelsea approached his agent in the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old, who has scored nine goals in Serie A this season, is set to leave in the summer, according to club president Maurizio Zamparini.

"Chelsea spoke to my agent," said the Brazilian-born player, who is planning to become an Italian citizen.

The Stamford Bridge club told BBC Sport they would not comment on speculation.

Chelsea's interest in the forward may have been tempered by the signing of Nicolas Anelka from Bolton but, with uncertainty surrounding Didier Drogba's future, the Premier League side may choose to compete in the summer for the signature of one of Serie A's hot-shots.

Amauri added: "The Premier League is a very exciting championship, where the referee rarely interrupts the flow of play.

"I also love the fact that the public are very close to the pitch and to the players. Two of my favourite players are Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard."


Despite good performances this season, 6ft 2in Amauri has yet to be selected to represent Brazil by national team coach Dunga.

In order to sample international football, Amauri has applied for an Italian passport, which he is expected to gain in April, and which will make him eligible for selection for Roberto Donadoni's side at Euro 2008.

In January, the Italy coach admitted that he could not ignore him if he becomes available.

"I would love to play at the championships for the Azzurri," enthused the forward.

We will do nothing for less than 25m euros

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini

Amauri also said he was delighted to be playing again after a serious knee injury in December 2006 had ruled him out for seven months.

"My season has gone well, very well," he commented.

"My main goal now is to continue performing well for Palermo until the end of the season."

Palermo president Zamparini confirmed this week that the Brazil-born player, who signed for the Sicilian club in 2006, had been the subject of a 17m bid.

"A Spanish side offered 22m euros but I refused," he stated.

"We will do nothing for less than 25m euros but I think an agreement could be close."

Fellow Italian side Juventus and Spanish giants Real Madrid have also been linked with a move for Amauri.

see also
Chelsea v Olympiakos (agg 0-0)
04 Mar 08 |  Europe
Lampard gets red card rescinded
04 Mar 08 |  Chelsea
Drogba 'disgust' at Chelsea move
03 Nov 07 |  Chelsea
Drogba '100% committed to Blues'
23 Oct 07 |  Chelsea
Kenyon rules out Chelsea exodus
21 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Chelsea complete 15m Anelka deal
11 Jan 08 |  Chelsea

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