Chelsea are ready to replace departing midfielders Michael Ballack and Joe Cole with Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, according to reports.

The Blues are said to be releasing Cole and Ballack from their contracts after both seem intent on moving elsewhere.

Schweinsteiger, 25, is seen by Germany as the direct replacement to injured captain Michael Ballack for the forthcoming World Cup, a mantle the £25 million-rated player will relish.

Carlo Ancelotti wants the Bayern midfielder to replace Ballack, who is reportedly wanted by Jose Mourinho, in the Premier League champions' midfield.

Schweinsteiger, who is nicknamed 'Schweini' - meaning 'piggy' - has conceded he does not want to discuss his future yet.

Chelsea are thought to have met with the player's advisors but he said: "Right now I'm focusing solely on the World Cup. All the rest doesn't interest me."

Ballack and Cole are set to be released so they can find a new club, with the former a surprise target for Real Madrid boss Mourinho, who brought Ballack to West London.

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