Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has confirmed that the club are still actively pursuing Milan striker Andrii Shevchenko while also looking to pick up some young talent to augment their squad.
Germany international Michael Ballack has already moved to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea look to strengthen their squad. Shevchenko had been widely tipped to follow, but although the move remains up in the air.
“We have evolved to the stage where we are back-to-back champions and we should not underestimate what an achievement that is, particularly in a domestic league like the English Premiership. How do you improve on that?” Kenyon told Chelsea TV.
“It was felt what we wanted to do was bring in a different type of player. Michael Ballack fits that bill, the likes of a Shevchenko fit that bill. That type of player comes with an age and comes with an experience, probably outside the Premier League.”
However, with an eye to the future, Chelsea have are also looking ot sign a couple of younger players.
“There has not been a great shift in what we are wanting to do and if we get both those players (Ballack and Shevchenko), I guarantee that we will also have two very exciting younger players that will be the future of Chelsea,” added Kenyon.
“There will be a continued development of our youth – more (Lassana) Diarras – the best in their class at their age. They will be added to the team with some older players.”
Kenyon also played down suggestions that the club would be prepared to splash out on huge wages to secure the world’s best players.
“Most definitely we have got a wage structure and as is normal there have been gross exaggerations over what Ballack is being paid,” he continued.
“Like anyone else’s salary, that is confidential and I am certainly not going to disclose it, but I am confident Michael is signing for us on a salary that is commensurate with what he is as a player and is within the wages structure we have adopted in the last two years at Chelsea.
“The first thing we did when I arrived was get a grip on the size of the squad. We were getting accused of almost collecting players and it was about getting the squad down to a size that was manageable.
“The ambitions of this club are to do well in all four competitions so you need more than 15 players but I am not sure you need 35.
“We sat down with Jose, talked about it and we thought the 23-24 mark was about right. The first year I came we moved 14 players out and brought eight in.”