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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 21:07 GMT
Mourinho receives Chelsea backing
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea say they want Mourinho to stay at the club
Chelsea have responded to claims they have lined up Marcello Lippi as their next manager with a public show of support for current boss Jose Mourinho.

"No list of candidates has been drawn up to replace Jose Mourinho," said a Chelsea statement on Thursday.

"Nobody from Chelsea has spoken to Mr Lippi or his representatives or indeed anyone regarding the manager's job.

"As previously stated, Jose Mourinho has a contract until 2010 and has the support of everybody at Chelsea."

There has been repeated speculation over recent weeks of a rift between Mourinho and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

I believe I will be the manager until the end of 2010

Jose Mourinho

The Portuguese manager wanted to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window but did not sign any players and said early in the month: "It is not my choice that no-one is coming."

Lippi is currently out of work and had been quoted as saying that Chelsea wanted him to take charge at the London club at the end of the season.

But Mourinho himself recently expressed a desire to see out his current deal.

"I don't have to be confident I am staying. I have a contract until 2010, which is important," he told BBC Sport.

"I am manager today, I am the manager until the end of the season and I believe I will be the manager until the end of 2010.

"If I believe what I read in the press there are 11 candidates for my job but I don't get influenced by that."

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31 Jan 07 |  Football

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