Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard looks set to stay at Stamford Bridge after Inter Milan appeared to end their pursuit of the player.
Inter say the £11m signing of Sulley Muntari from Portsmouth will be their last purchase of the summer, while the Blues have reiterated their determination to keep Lampard.
“Muntari will be our last acquisition,” said Inter director Gabriele Oriali.
“Now we must work on reducing the squad as coach Jose Mourinho wants 22 players and three goalkeepers.”
Ex-Blues chief Mourinho has chased former protégé Lampard since taking over at Inter this summer, but accepted he was likely to miss out on his signature.
“I’m not disappointed by Lampard,” said Mourinho. “The important thing for a player is to do what makes him happy. If his decision is to stay at Chelsea I accept that.”
Lampard is at loggerheads with Chelsea over a new contract, and will be able to leave for free next summer if the stand-off continues.
Chelsea have adopted a stubborn approach to negotiations, refusing to improve Lampard’s contract offer yet rejecting two bids for the 30-year-old from Mourinho. Chief executive Peter Kenyon insisted yesterday that Lampard would see out his current deal, and warned that the game must act to curb the growing power of players to demand moves.
“No one is forced into a contract,” said Kenyon. “We’re expected to (honour contracts) and our players should be too. Football has got to look at this seriously. The contract stability issue is really important for football at every level.”
Kenyon added: “We don’t sell our best players, we don’t need to and we’re not going to. We want Frank to stay. We expect him to be in a Chelsea shirt.”