Chelsea’s Ballack relaxed despite talks freeze

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BERLIN: Chelsea star Michael Ballack said Thursday he was relaxed about his future, despite his contract running out in June and Blues owner Roman Abramovich putting negotiations on ice.The 33-year-old Ballack’s contract expires on June 30 when the Germany star hopes to be in the World Cup’s knock-out stages with his national side.

Abramovich is reported to be considering a squad clean-out and is unhappy with his side’s Champions League last 16 exit to former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.

But Ballack is concentrating on his football with the World Cup two months away and is not concerned about the talks freeze with just a month left of the Premier League season.

“I see the situation as being relaxed,” Ballack told German tabloid Bild.

“A number of other players are in the same situation.”

Abramovich has also stopped contract negotiations with Chelsea stars Deco, Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka, while Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti is also unsure of his future.

Ballack has already been linked to several top European sides including Liverpool and Mourinho’s Inter.   The Germany captain is set to win his 100th cap either during the World Cup or in his country’s three friendlies next month and is just saying he has no plans to retire.

“I want to keep playing for the next two years at the highest level,” said the former Bayern Munich midfielder. — AFP