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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 July 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Abramovich lured me - Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko
Shevchenko helped Ukraine reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup
New Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko says the perseverence of Blues' owner Roman Abramovich was behind his 30m move from AC Milan this summer.

Shevchenko, 29, claims Abramovich tried to sign him for three years before he eventually joined in May.

"Because of his persistence and as my life situation changed I decided the time was right," the Ukraine star said.

"It meant a lot to me that Chelsea have wanted me for the past three years and that is the reason I chose them."

Shevchenko's family were another factor in his decision.

His American wife Kristen is expecting another baby and they already have a 20-month old son, Jordan.

I've never had dinner with Mr Abramovich and our wives have never had dinner together. It's a professional relationship and it's always been one

Andriy Shevchenko

Shevchenko added: "When Roman first approached me I told him I was happy at Milan. I had a good career, but now I have a child and my wife has another child on the way.

"I talked very closely with my wife about this. It is family motivation but it had to be the right club."

But the Ukraine striker insists his relationship with Abramovich will not give him any preferential treatment at Chelsea.

"I don't want to use the friendship because that's such a strong word," Shevchenko said.

"He is the owner of the club so you must always maintain a professional attitude.

"He asked did I want to come and play for his club but I've never had dinner with Mr Abramovich and our wives have never had dinner together. It's a professional relationship and it's always been one.

"That will continue. Who knows what the future holds? But I don't believe I am going to suddenly start having dinner with the owner.

"I find these things odd because we have never socialised before and never been socially friends.

"My personal and private life will always remain personal and private.

"I have told you the truth about the relationship so I don't see any issues."



SEE ALSO
Chelsea complete Shevchenko deal
31 May 06 |  Chelsea
Chelsea deny move for Shevchenko
27 Jul 05 |  Chelsea
Shevchenko will not leave Milan
20 Jul 05 |  Europe
Shevchenko signs new deal
26 May 04 |  Europe


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