Mourinho welcomes Ballack and looks to Shevchenko

May 14, 2006

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho welcomed the arrival of Germany midfielder Michael Ballack on Sunday and indicated the champions were trying hard to sign Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko.

Speaking from an open-topped bus as it snaked its way through west London streets packed with cheering fans, Mourinho told Chelsea TV: 'He (Ballack) believes in us, he believes in Chelsea, he believes he can have success.

'He believes in the Champions League, he believes in three, four years' success for him in a crucial time of his career.'

'He had a lot of other chances as you can imagine. He decided on Chelsea and I think we are very happy and I think also English football should be happy to have such a player playing in the Premiership.'

The English champions are planning to present the 29-year-old playmaker, who helped Bayern Munich win a second successive German league and Cup double, at a news conference on Monday.

Bayern's fans, disappointed with Ballack's decision to leave, jeered him at his last game for the side on Saturday.

Ballack will be vying for a place in a strong midfield that includes Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele of France and tough Ghana international Michael Essien.

Lampard, runner up as world and European player of the year, said Ballack was a 'good player and a talented player.'

'He's another player who wants to get forward so we'll have to link up,' the England midfielder said.

He dismissed speculation he might leave because of the competition. 'No way,' he said over the noise of hooting horns and bellowing fans. 'I'm very happy here. Days like this make me realise how happy.'