Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack is a surprise name on the shortlist of candidates to become the club’s new Director of Football.
The Standard report the Ballack is one of many names under consideration by the Chelsea board as they look for somebody to take the position vacated by Michael Emenalo in November.
The German spent four years playing for the Blues between 2006 and 2010 having been released by Bayern Munich and won five trophies, including the Premier League.
The 41 -year-old remains closely associated with the club, having taken part in a charity match against Inter Milan last week in remembrance of Ray Wilkins.
Other names in the frame include another former Blue, Juliano Belletti, and current sporting director at Lille, Luis Campos.
Campos has previously worked at Real Madrid and latterly Monaco, where he is credited with nurturing young talents such as Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Since retirement, Ballack has done a lot of media work and is a well-regarded figure in the game with 98 Germany caps to his name, as well as playing for a number of top European clubs.
Chelsea youngster: ‘I don’t want another loan’
Young Ivorian star Jeremie Boga has fired a warning to Chelsea that he doesn’t want to be sent out on loan again next season.
The 21-year-old spent last term at Birmingham City, helping them to secure their Championship status for another year.
It was the midfielder’s third loan spell since joining Chelsea back in 2014, having previously spent short periods at Rennes and Granada.
Boga did make his Premier League debut on the opening day of the season against Burnley, but was withdrawn on 18 minutes after Gary Cahill saw red. It remains his only league appearance.
And despite not having an obvious route into the first-team at Stamford Bridge, Boga indicated that he would rather leave the Blues this summer than be sent out on loan again.
Speaking to Foot Mercato, he said: “The goal has been achieved, we [Birmingham] managed to save ourselves. We had ups and downs. I only remember the positives.
“I have clear ideas about my future,” Boga added.
“This is my third season on loan.
“I have a lot of experience [after] the end of the season and I feel ready for next year to either fight to try to establish myself at Chelsea or to leave the club.
“I do not really want another loan.”