Scolari: I wanted to sell Drogba

The Brazilian, who spent seven months as Blues boss between 2008-09

before a dismal run of results led to his sacking, says the players

did not sabotage his time at the helm. But 62-year-old Scolari has

revealed a poor relationship with some members of his squad meant

his stint in West London was a testing one. He told Brazilian

station TB Arena Sport TV: “I didn’t leave Chelsea because of

sabotage from the players, but it is true that it was difficult to

control the dressing room. “In the dressing room at Chelsea, there

were many big stars and good players but their behaviour was very

different.” Scolari, a World Cup-winning manager with Brazil in

2002, admits his biggest conflict at Chelsea was with Drogba.

“Drogba believed he was the star in the squad and I did have

conflicts with him. He wanted to go to a hospital in Paris because

of an injury, but I said no,” he said. “That was my first problem

because [Nicolas] Anelka did well in his absence and scored many

goals. When Drogba came back he wanted to go straight back into the

team but I said no.” The former manager says he set his sights on

signing Brazil ace Robinho, while he wanted then Inter Milan

striker Adriano as a replacement for Drogba, but claims owner Roman

Abramovich blocked both moves. He added: “I wanted Robinho, but it

wasn’t possible. I also wanted Abramovich to change Drogba for

Adriano at Inter, because it was easier to control him than

Drogba.” Scolari says his rift with Drogba was not the only problem

he encountered in the dressing room, claiming Michael Ballack was

jealous of his midfield rival Deco and refused to talk to the

Portugal star. He said: “Ballack wanted to be one of the owners of

the dressing room and the relationship with the German was not

easy. He seemed jealous of Deco, did not want his arrival and I had

to explain that I was the coach and it was up to me. “I wanted Deco

to work it out with Ballack, but it wasn’t possible. They didn’t

speak to each other.” Scolari, currently manager at Palmeiras after

taking the post last year, says the Chelsea fall-out left him

needing a break from the game. “My exit from Chelsea was sad

because the Premier League is a wonderful competition and a

sensational venue to work,” he added. “I was very depressed after

my exit and for two months I didn’t want to even talk about

football.”