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Rediff.com  » Sports »  Chelsea caught in bitter bribery row over Ronaldinho transfer move

Chelsea caught in bitter bribery row over Ronaldinho transfer move

April 02, 2010 15:17 IST

English Premier League club Chelsea has been caught up in a bitter row over an alleged £seven million bribery scandal for the transfer of ace Brazilian striker Ronaldinho.

Current Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims rival Sandro Rosell tried to persuade him to share a £seven million kick-back Chelsea were allegedly willing to pay if the club sold them the Brazilian superstar in 2004.

Chelsea on Thursday vehemently denied offering any bribe, and said there is absolutely no evidence to support Laporta's claims, The Sun reports.

A Blues spokesman said: "It's total nonsense. We never made such an offer."

Laporta's claims were made in his explosive book "A Dream For My Children" published in Spain on Monday.

The Barcelona president alleged on April 25, 2004, that his then vice-president Rosell told him Chelsea were offering 100 million euros for Ronaldinho.

Laporta writes: "I told him to get it out of his head, that Ronnie was not for sale and I didn't want to talk about it any more but he added: 'Joan, they are giving us a commission of 10 per cent.'

"Sandro kept insisting about the offer of Chelsea pretending he didn't want it to happen. He reminded me that if we accepted they were giving us 10 million euros to share between us. That attitude made me profoundly indignant."

Ronaldinho, now at AC Milan, was at the peak of his form back in 2004.

Rosell resigned his post in June 2005 after a bitter fall-out with Laporta, who steps down as president at the end of his second term this June.

And Rosell is the overwhelming favourite to win the presidential election.

The claims in the book are seen by his supporters as an effort by Laporta to damage Rosell's chances.

Source: ANI