Blues sweat on Carvalho ahead of season finale

CHELSEA defender Ricardo Carvalho faces a race to be fit in time for their crucial game against Bolton on Sunday.

Carvalho limped out of the Blues’ victory over Newcastle on Monday afternoon after twice falling heavily on his back.

The Portuguese international underwent intensive treatment on the injury on Tuesday and is desperate to be fit in time to face Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea know that a result which betters Manchester United’s on the final day of the season will see them pip United to the title.

Carvalho has become a vital member of the side and has not been on the losing side in the last 42 league games he had played in.

It is a run that stretches back to Chelsea’s away defeat at Tottenham in November 2006.

Striker Salomon Kalou is also struggling with an ankle injury but he should be fit in time.

But the future of coach Avram Grant has once again came under spotlight, with Barcelona’s Frank Rijkaard tipped, once more, to replace him at the end of the season.

This time the speculation over Grant’s future was sparked by comments from the Israeli’s close friend — Portsmouth player Richard Hughes.

Hughes claimed that Grant would be happy to move aside and let Rijkaard takeover even though he has guided Chelsea to the final of the Champions League and to the brink of winning the domestic league crown.

Hughes insisted: “This will take place with Avram’s blessing. He is a modest guy who does not particularly like being in the limelight.

“He’d be happy to revert to the role where he acts as a link between the coaching staff and the board.

“He is not in it for personal glory and could go about his business outside of the limelight.”

Hughes became close friends with Grant while he was director of football at Pompey and believes the Israeli will move upstairs even if he completes an historic double. Rijkaard is set to quit the Nou Camp at the end of this campaign having lost the title to Real Madrid. But despite the speculation, Chelsea continue to insist that Grant will remain in charge of the title-challenging side at Stamford Bridge next season.


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