Ballack to get new contract

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 24 January 2009

Michael Ballack will still be a Chelsea player next season.

The German captain is out of contract in the summer and suggestions that he could be leaving SW6 were pooh-poohed by Chelsea's assistant coach Ray Wilkins.

Ballack turned in a fine performance and hit two goals as Chelsea eased past hard-working Ipswich Town 3-1 in the FA Cup 4th round at Stamford Bridge.

Ballack struck in the 16th and 59th minutes and Wilkins said: "Michael is a top, top-quality footballer. He was doubtful for today's game. But he turned up feeling sore but he said he was fine to play.

"When you look at his contribution, from our point of view, he covers most ground in the side - at times he is untouchable. I'm a bit surprised it was one of his first goals of the season - the first was against Southend in the previous round replay."

Wilkins went on to suggest that Ballack has a future at Chelsea: "I would have thought Ballack was in [Felipe Luiz] Scolari's plans for next season, yes."

Not quite a confirmation, but as close as it's going to get, I think.

Wilkins went on to talk about the transfer window, and confirmed that the club have not being in contact with Manchester City to secure the services of Robinho or about possible transfer out of the club.

"There will be no one coming in this week," he confirmed.

"I would not have thought that we would be letting anyone go - we have lots of games in various competitions to play," he added.

Chelsea hit three goals and two were from blistering free-kicks - one each from Ballack and the imperious Frank Lampard.

"We have been practicing free-kicks," said Wilkins.

"No me personally, you understand, but you can tell how hard they work when you see what they produce on the pitch.

"Lampard works extremely hard on his fitness as was demonstrated by the fact he ran 75 yards late on to make a tackle on the half-way line." said

Chelsea Match Reports


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