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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Ten Cate cools Chelsea move talk
Henk Ten Cate
Henk Ten Cate has won a glowing reputation at Barcelona and Ajax
Ajax coach Henk Ten Cate has confirmed Chelsea are interested in luring him to Stamford Bridge - but played down claims that he has agreed a move.

Ten Cate's agent Sigi Lens said a deal for him to move to Chelsea as boss Avram Grant's assistant was in place.

Ten Cate said: "I know that Chelsea are interested in me.

"But not every story that does the rounds is true. I am coach at Ajax and my position is not up for discussion as far as I know."

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He added: "Last year I came to Amsterdam because becoming champion with Ajax is my great dream.

"Despite the fact that we are now out of the Champions League and Uefa Cup I still feel secure in my position.

"I will be, as normal, on the bench when we meet Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday."

Chelsea have confirmed they are looking to bolster Grant's backroom staff and could bring in a foreign coach.

And Ten Cate's representative Lens told The Sun: "It's true we have an agreement with Chelsea.

"It's an opportunity for him, a challenge for him to work with a big team and work with Avram Grant to build a new team."

Lens added: "Chelsea have spoken to Henk about the matter. There was a conversation and both the manager and Henk are on the same wavelength.

"They invited Henk to a meeting to talk about technical matters and ask how he sees things and how he wants to play and that was good."

Ten Cate had a glowing reputation for his work as Frank Rijkaard's assistant at Barcelona - and it appears this is the role Chelsea want him to perform at Stamford Bridge.

Lens said: "Henk knows what he's doing. He did it in Barcelona."

And Ten Cate's representative hinted the appointment could be made swiftly if Chelsea can reach an agreement with Ajax.

"Chelsea want to take the coach now, so if there is an agreement between the two clubs everything will be clear," said Lens.

"The will is there from both parties for Henk to start straight away. Henk does not want to wait until the end of the season, he wants to come now but it depends on how Ajax react."

Lens explained that the 52-year-old's work at Ajax made him the ideal candidate for Chelsea.

He said: "You can see how he plays the game tactically. Look at Ajax last year. The season before they finished fifth and with Henk they were joint top and only just lost out on the title by one goal."

Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke's future is currently the subject of speculation, although the Stamford Bridge club have made it clear they want him to stay on.

A club statement said: "One of the scenarios Avram is considering is a team containing a British assistant in Steve and a foreign assistant."

The Dutchman's appointment would appear to fit with Chelsea's plan to adopt a three-pronged approach to coaching at the club.

"This is a system the first team are already familiar with," the statement continued.

Ten Cate, who has a reputation for producing attacking football and being a hard task-master on the training ground, was formerly number two at Barcelona and helped the Catalan giants to Champions League glory in 2006.

In his first season as Ajax manager, the club missed out on the Dutch title on goal difference, though he has won a Dutch Cup and two Dutch Super Cups in his time at the Amsterdam Arena.

It is reported that he has been recommended to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich by sporting director Frank Arnesen.



SEE ALSO
Hiddink agent cool on Blues link
27 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Chelsea needed a change - Grant
26 Sep 07 |  Chelsea


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