By Chris Wright
Herr, there and everywhere
Chelsea’s veteran midfielder Michael Ballack seems to be edging closer and closer to the exit door at Stamford Bridge.
The German has seen his latest round of contract negotiations stall, and has now had any further talks put on hold until the end of the season by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Ballack had rejected Chelsea’s latest offer of a one-year extension to his current deal, and sought a compromise with the club by asking for a year’s extension that would trigger a further 12-month deal should the 33-year-old make 30 appearances for the Blues nest season.
But Chelsea’s Russian owner has now refused to give Ballack’s representatives an audience until the summer and has challenged his stars – including Deco, Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka – to prove themselves worthy of a new deal by bringing silverware (i.e, the Premier League title) to the club this season.
Inter Milan are reported to have already made a tentative approach for Ballack via a third party.