Shevchenko to leave Chelsea

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

AN­DRIY SHEVCHENKO’S un­suc­cess­ful three-year spell with Chelsea is al­most over af­ter coach Carlo Ancelotti con­fir med yes­ter­day that the striker will leave be­fore English foot­ball’s trans­fer win­dow closes next week.

The for mer Euro­pean Player of the Year failed to make an im­pact in the Premier League de­spite cost­ing a clu­brecord £30-mil­lion when he joined from AC Mi­lan. He has been linked with a re­turn to Dy­namo Kiev, where he started his ca­reer.

The 32-year-old Shevchenko spent last sea­son on loan at Mi­lan un­der Ancelotti, who is now with Chelsea, and is set to leave Lon­don be­fore the trans­fer win­dow closes on Tues­day.

Ancelotti said the Ukraine in­ter­na­tional was un­happy at not play­ing reg­u­larly, with suc­ces­sive Chelsea man­agers favour­ing Di­dier Drogba, Ni­co­las Anelka and Salomon Kalou for the strik­ing roles.

“Shevchenko will de­cide to re­turn to go to play in an­other team,” Ancelotti said. “I spoke with Shevchenko and he would like to play with con­ti­nu­ity.”

The Premier League’s abil­ity to at­tract the world’s best play­ers is un­der threat from ris­ing taxes in Bri­tain, says Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger.

From next April, the in­come tax level on those ear ning £150,000 (R1.9 mil­lion) or more will rise from 40 to 50 per­cent, which will hit the pay pack­ets of most top flight play­ers.

“The great days will dis­ap­pear,” Wenger said. “It’s sim­ple, let’s say a man who earned £1m a year (takes home) £600,000 per year.

“But with 50 per­cent tax, if you want to keep him at the level of £600,000, you have to in­crease his wage by 20 per cent. Not ev­ery club can af­ford that.”

In­ter Mi­lan coach Jose Mour­inho blamed the press yes­ter­day for stir­ring up ten­sions fol­low­ing com­ments he made about Ra­madan.

The Por­tuguese coach said Ghana’s Sul­ley Mun­tari had pos­si­bly lacked en­ergy in Sun­day’s 1-1 draw with Bari be­cause he was fast­ing for the holy month of Ra­madan.

The state­ment an­gered an Ital­ian Mus­lim leader and threats against Mour­inho have been posted on web­sites.

“If some­thing hap­pens to me it will be your re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mour­inho told re­porters ahead of to­day’s derby with AC Mi­lan. “I know what I said. I said ‘you can’t crit­i­cise the de­ci­sion of Mun­tari be­cause it is a ques­tion of faith and re­li­gion’.”

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