Chelsea news

Blues calm exit speculation

May 22, 2012
By ESPN staff

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has calmed suggestions Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres will leave the club.

Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres
GettyImagesDidier Drogba and Fernando Torres celebrate the club's Champions League success

• Agent denies Drogba exit talk
• Torres seeks talks over future
• Di Matteo coy over future
•  Blog: Chelsea reduce men to tears

Drogba, 34, had been quoted in France Football as saying he had "decided to leave" Stamford Bridge, but his agent later said the quotes were "not genuine".

Following the Champions League success, Chelsea had revealed that talks were to take place this week over a contract extension for Drogba, and it appears nothing has changed on that front.

"Conversations with Didier have been going on for months and still are," Gourlay told Chelsea TV. "He's made it clear he loves Chelsea and loves everything he's achieved at the club. Once we're ready to make an announcement, we'll do so."

Torres, meanwhile, had given an interview to journalist Guillem Balague in the wake of the victory over Bayern Munich on Saturday revealing he was unhappy with his lack of playing time and would seek talks over his future.

Balague subsequently wrote on his Twitter account that the quotes did not mean that Torres wanted to leave the club, and Gourlay has indicated that the Blues are untroubled by his comments.

"Torres came on when we were behind and played a big part to help us win the Champions League," Gourlay said. "I'd be surprised if Fernando, who's been awesome, didn't want more time on the field, every player does."

He added: "It was the biggest game in our history so there were different levels of emotions all over the pitch - you have to take these things into account."

The future of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is also the subject of speculation - indeed, the Daily Star carried quotes from a source close to Roman Abramovich on Tuesday morning suggesting he is unlikely to be given the job.

"Roman thinks Di Matteo has been very, very lucky and that he made a lot of mistakes in the games he's been in charge, with his tactics and selections," the source said. "The statistics in the two games against Barcelona and the final show just how lucky Di Matteo was. Roman has to decide this week and he will not care what the public thinks. Roman did not become a billionaire worrying about public opinion - he only cares about what is right for the club."

Gourlay, though, was giving nothing away about the club's plans.

"We now need to sit down over the next week or two, or however long it takes, because we have to do what's right for the club," Gourlay said. "I know the fans will be pushing for Robbie. We're going to look at the season, look at what worked for us, look at the mistakes we made and put them right and take it forward."