(Reuters) Ronaldinho could be on his way to Chelsea in the latest transfer twist of the brilliant Brazilian midfielder.
Ronaldinho’s brother and agent, Roberto de Assis, has hinted at the possibility of the Barcelona forward linking up with Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea.
Scolari, the current Portugal coach, is the new Blues boss. He’ll take the helm after the Euro 2008 campaign.
The two-time Fifa World Player of the Year is expected to leave Barca this summer, and Manchester City were recently permitted to open talks with the star.
But, having worked under Scolari when he was the Brazil coach, Ronaldinho is on Scolari’s shopping list.
De Assis said: “At the moment Ronaldinho is taking a complete break at home in Porte Alegre.
“There are options for next season and obviously he knows Scolari very well and they have enjoyed great success together.
“We’ll see what happens but my brother will be ready for next season.”
Meanwhile, AC Milan intend to take a wrecking ball to Scolari’s intention of arriving at Stamford Bridge next month dripping with contractual agreements from some of the world’s best players.
The Brazilian has been planning to bring his former charge to London – a move that Milan have described as “impossible”.
Describing the free rein that the Chelsea board have given their new manager, Scolari’s No 2, Flavio ‘Murtosa’ Teixeira, said: “We have been given the freedom to establish a comprehensive list of players that we want to bring to Chelsea.”
However, even unlimited funds might not be enough to extricate Kaka from the San Siro.
“It’s normal for a Brazilian coach to try to bring in Brazilian players,” technical director Leonardo said, responding to reports suggesting Chelsea are putting the finishing touches on a $100 million bid for the 26-year-old.
“But signing Kaka is impossible, because he is here at AC Milan and will be here until the end of his career.”
However, whatever their protestations, Milan would have little leverage were Kaka to demand to leave, as the ongoing tug-of-war between Manchester United and Real Madrid over Cristiano Ronaldo serves to illustrate.
The former Fifa World Player of the Year recently signed a new five-year contract, but the prospect of playing in the Uefa Cup rather than the Champions League, coupled with a shared heritage with Scolari could convince Kaka to make the transition to the Premier League.
Chelsea can pay handsomely. The club have already rejected Milan’s offers for Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko, but the pair could be put forward as a makeweight for Kaka, a deal that Milan might well deem appropriate recompense. If not, there might be more than one heavyweight transfer battle this summer.
Arguably, however, the first item on the agenda that Scolari will look to address will be how to ensure Frank Lampard is not lured away from London by Jose Mourinho, who has made little effort to disguise his interest in a midfielder describes as without peer.
Scolari has told the Chelsea board to do what ever is necessary to keep Lampard, although if the midfielder has his heart set on reuniting with his old manager at Inter Milan, there would be little they could do.
Chelsea will also look to bring in Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich and Fernando Torres from Liverpool. Their sights could have been set too high as far as the Spaniard is concerned, as he recently pledged his future to the club “for many years to come”.
Scolari is never far from controversy. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly furious with him for advising Cristiano Ronaldo to move to Real Madrid.