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Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 09:03 UK

Scolari scotches Drogba exit talk

Didier Drogba
Drogba has been linked with a move to Spain or Italy

Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari insists Didier Drogba is "very happy" at Chelsea, despite the striker pulling out of the pre-season tour of Asia.

The decision prompted fresh speculation over the future of Drogba, 30, who has been linked to AC Milan and Barcelona.

Chelsea said the Ivory Coast star stayed behind for rehabilitation on a long-standing knee problem.

Scolari stated: "Didier's future with Chelsea is normal because he has a contract. I think he's very happy."

Scolari added that Drogba needs up to four weeks to fully recover from the problem.

Drogba's agent has hinted that the forward may agree a new deal at Stamford Bridge before the new season starts, despite the reported interest from Italian and Spanish clubs.

We have had discussions with Madrid over buying Robinho and they are ongoing

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon
Scolari claimed at his official unveiling as new Blues boss earlier this month that Drogba was still "200% in his plans" for the squad.

England midfielder Frank Lampard, 30, was included in the squad that left London for China amid ongoing reports about a move to Inter Milan.

Claudio Pizarro was also omitted from the tour squad because of injury but Michael Ballack will join his team-mates in China after taking a holiday following his exploits with Germany at Euro 2008.

Chelsea open their tour against Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals on 23 July and follow that with matches against Chengdu Blades in Macau three days later and a Malaysian Select XI in Kuala Lumpur on 29 July before travelling on to Russia for two games.

Meanwhile, Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon has denied that the club have made an offer for AC Milan's 26-year-old Brazilian playmaker Kaka.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani was reported in the Italian press over the weekend as saying: "It's true that Chelsea made a conspicuous offer but I will not say how much it was."

But Kenyon insisted: "There was no offer made. I have read the same articles.

"They have made it clear that he is not for sale and we will make it clear we have not made an offer.

"There is no reason to negotiate over something they don't want to do and we have not made an offer."

However, Kenyon admitted that discussions have taken place with Real Madrid over the possibility of buying 24-year-old Brazilian striker Robinho.

"It is well noted we have shown interest," added Kenyon.

"We have had discussions with Madrid over it and they are ongoing. The window is still open and we are still talking to Madrid."

see also
Makelele leaves Chelsea for PSG
21 Jul 08 |  Europe
Cech signs new Chelsea contract
21 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
Deco pleads with Drogba to stay
19 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
Lampard wants to join us - Inter
18 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
AC Milan track Drogba & Adebayor
07 Jul 08 |  Football

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