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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Ranieri rules out Lampard signing
By Simon Austin

Claudio Ranieri and Frank Lampard
Ranieri brought midfielder Lampard to Chelsea in 2001
Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri has ruled out a summer move for Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.

Lampard has been linked to Juve and Barcelona after reports he rejected a new Blues deal, which his agent denied.

But former Chelsea boss Ranieri told BBC Sport: "We are full in midfield and won't be signing anyone else there.

"Frank is a fantastic player - I know that better than anyone - but the only player we need before the start of the season is a central defender."

We had a great relationship when we were at Chelsea

Claudio Ranieri on Frank Lampard

Ranieri brought Lampard to Stamford Bridge from West Ham for 11m in 2001 and remains one of the player's biggest admirers.

"Many people said Frank wasn't worth the money when I signed him but he worked very hard and went on to become one of the best midfielders in the world. That made me very proud," said Ranieri.

"We had a great relationship when we were at Chelsea and it was good to catch up with him after England's game against Brazil last month."

Juventus currently have an embarrassment of riches in midfield.

606: DEBATE

Former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedved and Italian internationals Mauro Camoranesi and Cristiano Zanetti were already at the club when Ranieri arrived in Turin in June.

And he moved quickly to sign Portugal international Tiago from Lyon for 9m and Argentine Sergio Bernardo Almiron for 6m from Empoli.

Lampard was reported to have turned down a deal that would have made him Chelsea's highest-paid player but his agent Steve Kutner dismissed the rumours and said no talks had taken place about a new contract.



SEE ALSO
Geremi clinches move to Newcastle
03 Jul 07 |  Newcastle United
Lampard wants to stay at Chelsea
28 Jun 07 |  Chelsea
Lampard 'indispensable to Blues'
13 Feb 07 |  Chelsea


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