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Wilkins expecting Ballack stay
25 Jan 2009 - 10:36:36
Chelsea's assistant manager Ray Wilkins has played down rumours that midfielder Michael Ballack could quit the club at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Germany international's current deal runs out next summer, but Wilkins is confident that Ballack - who scored twice in the FA Cup fourth round win over Ipswich Town - is going nowhere.
He commented: "I would have thought Michael would be in our plans for next season. He's a top quality player and that's what the club have been bringing in.
"It was very doubtful whether Michael would make today. He took a nasty kick in training, he was scanned on Friday and was very doubtful.
"But the professional in him meant he turned up still feeling extremely sore, but he really wanted to play.
"He was very good in the game. Michael covers probably more ground than anybody else in our side.
"When he goes forward he is extremely dangerous and the work he puts in for the team is untouchable."
Ballack has scored 19 goals in 97 appearances for the Blues since his arrival from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2006.