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Chelsea cool Messi talk


LONDON, January 9 – Chelsea assistant manager Steve Holland on Friday distanced the Premier League giants from a move for Barcelona’s Argentina star Lionel Messi.

The Stamford Bridge club have been linked with an approach for Messi whose future in Spain has been thrown into doubt because of a breakdown in relations with Barca coach Luis Enrique.

The four-times world player of the year has a £200 million ($302m) buy-out clause in his contract with the La Liga club.

But his wage demands mean that any move for the player would require a total outlay of around £500 million ($756m).

Chelsea are one of the few clubs believed to have the resources to fund a deal of that size, but Holland believes Financial Fair Play regulations would prohibit a move.

And Holland insists Blues manager Jose Mourinho has no intention of making changes to his playing squad during the current transfer window.

Mourinho did not attend Friday’s routine press conference after being charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

And Holland said: “With Financial Fair Play, many players have been sold to balance the books. That has been the case in the last 12 months.

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“But when you see the numbers that have been mentioned around the Messi deal I would think it looks impossible under Financial Fair Play.”

He added: “I think he has made it clear in this window nobody leaves, nobody goes.

“I recall he said a similar thing at this time last year and a few things happened that meant we had to be reactive. Manchester United made a huge offer for Juan Mata and there was an offer for Kevin De Bruyne.

“Jose was happy to keep them. But sometimes you have to react. But the hope and expectation is that nobody comes or leaves.”

Mourinho will take charge of his side against Newcastle this weekend, 48 hours after being hit with a FA misconduct charge for comments he made in the wake of his side’s draw at Southampton.

The Chelsea manager condemned referee Anthony Taylor’s display after midfielder Cesc Fabregas was booked for diving when television replays showed the player was fouled inside the Southampton penalty area.

That was the latest in a succession of controversial decisions to affect Mourinho’s side.

And while Holland insists the manager remains unaffected by the charge, he insisted Mourinho’s frustration was shared throughout the club.

Holland said: “Jose’s been fine today. He’s very focused on the game against Newcastle. We lost away to Newcastle only very recently. We are very determined to put that right.

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“There is a frustration with all of us, the coaching staff and the players, not just Jose with an accumulation of events which surfaced at the Southampton game with Cesc.

“We are all together in this. But we have to move on.”

The draw at Southampton was followed by a 5-3 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, allowing Manchester City to draw level at the head of the Premier League table.

And Holland admitted that the intensity of the title race meant tensions were rising.

He added: “At the halfway mark the difference between success and failure is so small. In a game like Southampton where clearly a penalty should have been given and you assume you would go on to win the game and get two extra points that could prove to be vital.

“So when managers speak straight after the game there is a frustration. Small margins define success or failure.”

Click to comment


  1. Guy

    January 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Bush and Clinton earn after they retire because people want to pay for them. We can pay robbers to deter them from robbing the bank too.

    • Splitza

      January 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      The reason why people willingly pay for lectures given by former US presidents is not least due to the fact that they once held the said post as the President of the United States.

  2. Prickly Needles

    January 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I would rather pay more for a capable minister than a corrupt one. The hidden costs of corruption will eat up whatever savings we get for lower ministers’ pay. Look at China, India, Indonesia and Philippines etc. on how corrupt civil servants can be if they are lowly paid.

  3. Cck

    January 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    China, India, Indonesia & Philippines etc do not have a good ruling system to deter corruption. Whereas Singapore has. Once our minister retired, they’re in good hands as well. Like our ex-foreign minister…. 
    If high pay = corrupt free…why recently there’re soooo many corrupted civil servants being caught only after years of corruption? I do not understand with sooo may corporate governance it STILL take years to found that millions is being siphon away by the corruptors.

  4. Guest

    January 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    ““All they have to do is to turn up for an appearance, make a few remarks (and they receive) a hundred thousand dollars a time,” said Lee.”
    So do your predecessors.

  5. JOHN

    January 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    THEY are world power NO 1, after retire, they are well protected, singapore ministers of PM please step aside

    • Alu_36

      January 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

       his mother and one naughty bitch

  6. Lee Hsien Tao

    January 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    The more Singapore PM tries to justify his high pay, the worse he looks and the more votes he will lose in the next election. Hope that day cometh sooner than later!

  7. The Great Confession

    January 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    In other words, Singapore’s prime minister is saying he cannot make it on his own in the private sector???

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