Ranieri happy with his squad as Charlton rebuff Parker bid

Claudio Ranieri yesterday claimed he is satisfied with his Chelsea squad – just hours after Charlton rejected a Chelsea approach for their England midfielder Scott Parker.

Blues boss Ranieri, whose team face First Division Watford at Stamford Bridge tonight in their FA Cup third-round replay, discovered yesterday morning his reported £6million enquiry for Parker had been rebuffed.

But, at lunchtime, the Italian insisted: "I am very happy with the players I have. I have 21 outfield players and then goalkeepers as well.

"I am not considering anything and the only thing I am thinking about is the Watford game."

Charlton issued an angry rebuttal of Chelsea's move for their 23-year-old star player, who they are said to value at £12million.

Valley chief executive Peter Varney said: "Scott's not for sale and we do not welcome this enquiry.

"We sincerely hope Chelsea accept our decision in this matter.

"Scott signed a new contract in the summer and is a vital part of our plans as we continue establishing Charlton as one of the top clubs in the country."

But Ranieri, pressed whether he would still pursue Parker, the inspiration behind Charlton's surge to fourth in the Premiership, was typically non-committal.

"People know me very well and I don't ever say anything about players," the Italian said. "It is okay. But that's the only comment I'll make."

Charlton's rejection of Chelsea's approach for Parker was not the only bad news for the Stamford Bridge side today.

Reports appeared this morning suggesting Juan Sebastian Veron could face surgery on his back problem and although not explicitly confirming that, Ranieri did admit: "He's only 50% or 60% and I check on him every day.

"Now I am waiting to decide on the best solution for him."

And while Veron appears set for a substantial spell on the sidelines, he will be joined in the treatment room for the next six weeks by forward Hernan Crespo.

The £16.8m Argentinian front man is set for a lay-off twice as long as first expected after further examination of his calf injury.

Despite the fitness and transfer dramas at his club, Ranieri insists he is still loving life in the high-pressure world of Chelsea Village.

"I love my job and I am always happy when I am doing my job," he said.

"I've said before that my players are like my sons and that's true. I love all my players."

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox