Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roman Target Man; Blues Owner to Make a Third Bid for Shevchenko after Misery of Euro Exit

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roman Target Man; Blues Owner to Make a Third Bid for Shevchenko after Misery of Euro Exit

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH is planning a renewed attempt to sign Andriy Shevchenko for Chelsea this summer.

The Russian billionaire has resolved that the club need a topclass striker if they are to improve on their record of two European Cup semi-finals and the Ukrainian is top of his wishlist.

Abramovich has failed in two previous attempts to prize Shevchenko away from AC Milan, tabling a [pounds sterling]30million bid during the January transfer window 14 months ago. He also visited him in Italy last June.

Chelsea's owner is good friends with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani and plans to offer Hernan Crespo plus a [pounds sterling]25m fee.

A source close to Abramovich said: "Shevchenko is still Roman's favourite player and he would do anything to sign him. There's only a very small chance but he has not given up hope."

The irony, of course, is that if Chelsea possessed a forward with the finishing ability of either Shevchenko or Crespo they would probably be preparing to face Milan in the European Cup Final in Istanbul later this month.

Instead, the talk at Stamford Bridge is of rebuilding for next year's European adventure. Milan, meanwhile, are dreaming of a second European triumph in three years having survived a major scare against PSV Eindhoven last night to book their place in the final against Chelsea's conquerors Liverpool.

They might have had to rely on the last- gasp goal from Massimo Ambrosini but Milan have given Chelsea an object lesson in how to reach the European Cup Final.

They were dominated for long spells in both their quarter and semifinals but scored goals at crucial times. Last night's semi-final second leg against PSV Eindhoven provided a case in point. Carlo Ancelotti's side were woeful throughout and deservedly lost their two-goal lead but came good when it mattered, scoring the all-important away goal in the last minute. Abramovich can buy all the players he wants but the pedigree of being six-time European Cup winners is not for sale. …

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