Carvalho gives backing to Scolari

CHELSEA defender Ricardo Carvalho believes the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari as Chelsea coach would be “a real plus” for the club.

The Portugal international is currently with Scolari as they prepare for the start of Euro 2008 in a little more than seven days’ time.

He told the press ahead of his side’s friendly game with Georgia today that it is no surprise Chelsea should be interested in his national team coach and admitted he would be happy to see him move to London.

“At the moment we don’t have a coach and it’s normal that Chelsea are interested in Scolari, especially after the good work he’s done with Portugal,” Carvalho said.

“I’d be happy because I’ve worked with him for a long time and I think it would be a real plus for Chelsea.”

Scolari for his part insists he has not received any contact from Chelsea about the prospect of succeeding Avram Grant. Chelsea sacked former manager Grant last Saturday after the Blues ended the 2007/08 campaign without a trophy.

And rumour has been rife that Scolari is a top target in Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s hunt for a new boss.

However, Portugal chief Scolari — who is out of contract at the end of Euro 2008 — insists his only focus is on leading his side in Austria and Switzerland this summer.

‘‘I am working normally around the national squad,’’ Scolari said. ‘‘It is normal at the end of a contract for a coach to be mentioned with other clubs.

‘‘If I take a decision, I will tell my president. But I haven’t made a decision yet. My only decision now is to work until after the European Championship.’’

Meanwhile AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has become the latest manager to be linked with vacant manager’s job at Chelsea.

Sources in Italy have claimed the Italian has been approached about the job. Ancelotti adds to the list of those linked with the role, after the Portuguese FA claimed Chelsea had approached them about Luiz Felipe Scolari.

As well as Scolari and Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini is said to be one of the favourites for the role after Inter Milan confirmed his sacking, while former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard and Russia manager Guus Hiddink are still being linked with the role.

Mancini’s right-hand man Sinisa Mihajlovic, meanwhile, insists that the Chelsea job will not be too big for the former Inter Milan manager.

Mihajlovic was Mancini’s assistant in Milan and is expected to join him at Stamford Bridge if he takes over from Grant.

Mihajlovic said: ‘‘I don’t consider Chelsea to be a club superior to Inter in terms of history. It is for that reason I say Roberto could easily manage Chelsea and do well.’’


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