Barcelona's influential DiarioSport says Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich went well down the road in prising the Brazilian superstar away from the Nou Camp.
Reacting to reports in the English press the Catalan daily declared today:
- Chelsea have a formal five-year contract worth £7 million-a-season drawn up - which only lacks the signature of Ronaldinho.
- Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich twice met with Ronaldinho's brother and agent, Roberto de Assis, last week in London. An offer of £45 million was discussed during the meetings. Assis was flown to London on Chelsea's private jet and also covered his hotel bills.
- Assis admitted to friends that Ronaldinho could leave Barcelona before the first Champions League game.
- Most of Ronaldinho's Barcelona teammates believe he will be leaving.
- Belletti, who was in Barcelona on Monday, assured a high level DiarioSport source that "this season it's possible Ronaldinho will be my teammate".
- Assis informed Barcelona president Joan Laporta of Chelsea's offer. Laporta replied that the club will not sell any of their top players, unless a transfer request is made.