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Chelsea to unveil Michael Ballack on Monday

Written by: Staff

LONDON, May 14: Chelsea are set to complete the free transfer of Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack this weekend and will hold a news conference with the player tomorrow.

The Premier League champions announced the Stamford Bridge news conference on Sunday but gave no details of any contract.

Ballack, a superb all-round midfielder, played his final match with German champions Bayern yesterday and was jeered by the team's fans.

In his four years at the club he won three Bundesliga titles and three German cups. Ballack joined Bayern having helped Bayer Leverkusen to the 2002 final of the Champions League.

He was first linked with a move to Chelsea in February but denied British newspaper reports that he had signed a four-year deal with the club worth 25 million pounds (43 million dollars).

However, as the season progressed it became increasingly obvious that he would join up with coach Jose Mourinho at the club funded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Frustrated by jeering and whistling from the Bayern fans, the 29-year-old said last Friday: ''I think my decision should be accepted and I shouldn't be kicked around any more about it.

After another poor reception at the start of Saturday's 3-3 home draw with Borussia Dortmund, he said: ''The fans are sensitive to what is said. But I always tried hard to do my job and that should be honoured.

''I want a new challenge now. I've got to accept some jeering. It shows I was an important player but it does hurt.

''I was not able to make a decision sooner and couldn'tforce a decision just because Bayern managers demanded one. There are a lot of others at Bayern who don't know whether they have a future at Bayern Munich or not.

''I've had a great time here and felt good with a great team that won a lot of titles,'' he said.

Chelsea's other main transfer target is reported to be AC Milan and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko.

The team will hold an open-topped bus Premier League victory parade in west London later today.


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