Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed his desiere to sign Germany captain Michael Ballack.

“I want him (Ballack),” Mourinho told Bild.

“He has said he needs time before making a decision. I respect that. Now it’s up to him.”

Ballack’s contract with Bayern Munich expires at the end of the season and the midfielder is expected to move abroad.

The 29-year-old midfielder’s agent revealed last week that he was very interested in a move to Chelsea.

“For me he’s one of the best players in the world,” Mourinho, who was in Germany at the weekend, said of Ballack.

“He’s very intelligent, tactically very strong and he scores a lot of goals. For me in Europe there’s only (England and Chelsea’s) Frank Lampard who plays at that level. The two would form a dream pair.”

“Ballack is a magnificent player – and we would have him gladly.

“Chelsea have conducted themselves correctly with regards to Bayern Munich, who have been made aware of our interest in the player.

“Now we wait for his decision.”

Manchester United confirmed earlier in the season that they had been priced of the race to sign Ballack while Italian side Inter and Spanish club Real Madrid have also been linked with the German international captain. However, Mourinho is the first coach to declare an interest in signing the player.

Meanwhile, Bayern are already looking ahead to life without Ballack with general manager Uli Hoeness confirming their attempts to keep the player have failed.

“The thing with Michael is over,” said Hoeness.

“We are busy planning for life after Ballack.”

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