Ballack deal ‘set in stone’, says Rummenigge

GERMAN playmaker Michael Ballack’s move to Chelsea is “set in stone”, according to Bayern Munich director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Rummenigge, speaking after Bayern won the German Cup by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, revealed that he believed the deal had been sealed.

“I personally think it is,” said Rummenigge. “Officially we don’t know but everything is set in stone.”

Earlier, 29-year-old Ballack denied reports that a deal had been struck to take him to Stamford Bridge.

Frankfurt held Bayern for an hour, but Claudio Pizarro’s header was enough to give Bayern the win, despite a late rally from Eintracht.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Juventus remain in charge of the race for the Scudetto after a 3-0 win at Siena kept them three points clear of AC Milan with two matches to play.

All three goals for Juve came in the first eight minutes with former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, David Trezeguet and Adrian Mutu on target.

It was just what Juve needed after four consecutive draws had allowed Milan to close to the gap at the top.

The Rossoneri kept up the chase with a 2-0 win over Livorno with Filippo Inzaghi on the mark twice.

Third-placed Inter Milan had another embarrassing result with former Everton defender Marco Materazzi’s own-goal allowing Empoli to continue their excellent finish to the season with a 1-0 win.

At the bottom of the table, Messina will join the already relegated Treviso and Lecce in Serie B next season.

The Sicilians were beaten 3-0 by Reggina in the ‘derby of the straits’ — Messina is separated from Reggina’s home town of Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland by just a short stretch of water.

Former Everton and Leeds midfielder Olivier Dacourt netted the last goal of the game in Roma’s 4-4 draw with Chievo.

In France, Paris St Germain held off a late rally from arch-rivals Marseille to claim the Coupe de France with a 2-1 win at a packed Stade de France.

Bonaventure Kalou put PSG in front in the opening minutes and Vikash Dhorasoo made it 2-0 shortly after the interval.

Toifilou Maoulida pulled one back for Marseille midway through the second period and the Mediterranean club mounted a furious late onslaught.

In Spain’s La Liga, Barcelona need just two points from their four remaining fixtures to defend their title.

The Champions League finalists beat Cadiz 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Ronaldinho.

However, Valencia delayed Barca celebrations yesterday with a resounding 3-0 win over Alaves.

Ruben Baraja, Pablo Aimar and David Villa were on target for a Valencia side who registered their fifth straight win, boosting their chances of finishing in second spot and avoiding the Champions League qualification stage.

At the other end of the table, Malaga’s relegation was confirmed as they lost 3-2 at home to Racing Santander.

Alexis netted twice for the hosts but it wasn’t enough as goals from Francisco Javier Casquero, Antonito Perez and Juan Juanjo condemned Malaga to Segunda Division football next season.

Elsewhere, Celta Vigo boosted their campaign for a Champions League spot by beating Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 in the Galician derby.

David Silva and Jesus Perera scored the goals for Celta, while Deportivo had Fabricio Coloccini sent off.

Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao edged towards safety with a 1-1 draw.

Jesus Lacruz equalised for Bilbao after Robert had opened the scoring for the Seville side.

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