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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Chelsea deny move for Van Basten
By Paul Fletcher

Marco van Basten (left) sits behind Roman Abramovich at Old Trafford on Sunday
Van Basten (left) was sitting behind Abramovich at Old Trafford
Chelsea and the Dutch FA insist Marco van Basten is not in line to become manager at Stamford Bridge.

The Sun claimed owner Roman Abramovich had offered Van Basten the manager's job, as speculation continues over the long-term future of Avram Grant.

But the Dutch FA told BBC Sport it had not had any contact from Chelsea, who have in turn denied approaching anyone.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink has also been linked, but like Van Basten is set for talks with his national association.

A Chelsea statement said on Wednesday: "Chelsea totally refute that the job of manager or first-team coach has been offered to any individual other than Avram Grant.


"No one at Chelsea has been authorised to speak to any individual about the post, either by the board or the owner.

"Any suggestions that any team plans or arrangements have been changed due to representations from the players are totally false."

When asked whether Chelsea had been in contact regarding Van Basten, Dutch FA spokesperson Anja van Ginhoven told BBC Sport: "No.

"Van Basten will talk to the Dutch FA at the end of the year about a new contract or leaving after Euro 2008."

The 42-year-old was sitting behind Abramovich at Old Trafford as Manchester United defeated Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday.

But Van Ginhoven added: "It is absolute speculation that resulted from the fact Van Basten was in Manchester last weekend for an appointment with goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

"He sat in the stand quite close to Mr Abramovich - that was just a coincidence.

After the game with England the situation will be more clear

Russian FA spokesman Ivan Genkenev on the future of Guus Hiddink

"Both our CEO and Van Basten said they will not talk about contracts now. We will start talking about it at the end of the Euro 2008 qualification campaign."

Van Basten's current deal expires after Euro 2008 and the Dutch are well placed to qualify for the tournament.

Holland are second in Group G, level on points with Romania, who they play on 13 October.

The Dutch play their final qualifying game at home to Belarus on 21 November.

Van Ginhoven added: "I don't know if they will reach a final decision before the end of the year. I think the first talks will be in December."

It had been reported that Van Basten, who has a pro licence, was recommended to Abramovich by Chelsea's sporting director Frank Arnesen.

And that Abramovich was said to favour the attacking style of football that Van Basten has brought to the Dutch national team.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink
Hiddink has been strongly linked with Chelsea

Meanwhile, Hiddink, 60, is vastly experienced with PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, Real Madrid, Real Betis, South Korea and Australia among his former clubs.

Like Van Basten, he is also out of contract after Euro 2008 and set to discuss his future with Vitaly Mutko, president of the Football Union of Russia, after his team's game with England on 17 October.

"In his last interview Guus Hiddink said he had spoken to Vitaly Matko about a new contract," Russian FA spokesman Ivan Genkenev told BBC Sport.

"They made the decision to talk about it after the game against England. I don't know what they will decide - there are many variants.

"We had better wait for the game with England and after that the situation will be more clear."

And Genkenev added: "Officially there has been no contact between Chelsea and the national team."

Chelsea parted company with Jose Mourinho on 20 September and director of football Grant was installed as his replacement.

But Grant does not have the required licence and has a 12-week period of grace to acquire the qualification or the club will have to apply for special dispensation.

Wednesday's gossip column
26 Sep 07 |  Gossip
Man Utd against unlicensed Grant
26 Sep 07 |  Man Utd
Grant says he is in full control
21 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Grant encouraged despite defeat
23 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Hiddink praised over Russia role
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Hiddink has no regrets on England
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Hiddink sparks Russian revolution
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Hiddink to honour Russia contract
11 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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