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    Jun 2010


    Default Chelsea no longer in for Modric

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    Andre Villas-Boas has suggested that the signing of Raul Meireles has ended Chelsea's interest in Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric.

    Chelsea snatched Portugal international Meireles from Liverpool for 12 million in the dying minutes of the August transfer window, having admitted defeat in their summer-long pursuit of Modric.

    Reports suggest Chelsea made several offers for the diminutive playmaker - the final bid reached 40m - only to be told that he was not for sale, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy eager to ensure the player remained at White Hart Lane.

    Villas-Boas is believed to be concerned over a lack of creativity in the Chelsea engine room and, having also lost the inventive Yossi Benayoun in August, his squad still looks light in that regard.

    But, when asked if Chelsea would return to Tottenham with another bid for Modric in the New Year, Villas-Boas said: "No I don't think so. The market is closed and I won't speculate what happens in January."

    Meanwhile, Villas-Boas insists he is unfazed by a failure to secure the signature of Uruguay left-back Alvaro Pereira, who he managed at Porto. "We were very far from meeting Porto's demands for Alvaro. I am happy with Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand."

    Meanwhile, Didier Drogba is in a race against time to be fit for Chelsea's Premier League game at Manchester United as he continues his recovery from a head injury.

    Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas revealed the striker would miss Saturday's trip to Sunderland and Tuesday's Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen.

    Drogba is still suffering from the concussion he suffered in the 3-1 victory over Norwich 11 days ago and Villas-Boas claimed the club would "push it to the limit'' to ensure he was available for the trip to Old Trafford on Sunday week.

    "He has to be authorised medically to make his full return to training,'' Villas-Boas said. "He has been doing light sessions, of course, with our physios.

    "Let's push it to the limit to try for him to be available for Man United. I wouldn't say he would be available for Leverkusen.

    "The first days were, of course, tremendous pain, and he had his family supporting him. He had complete support from the medical staff, who were with him 24-seven. And we've been getting this support to him.

    "We just have to make sure that he's fully recovered before he comes back to training because that's the requirement you have to do neurologically.''

    There was good news, otherwise, on the injury front for Villas-Boas, who confirmed goalkeeper Petr Cech was available against Sunderland after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from his knee injury.

    Defender David Luiz is also back after missing the start of the season with a thigh problem.



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