Forward planning from Scolari

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Football News

Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will ask owner Roman Abramovich for the cash to sign a striker in the January transfer window if he is still handicapped by injuries.

Scolari currently has only one fit striker available in Nicolas Anelka, but chief executive Peter Kenyon insists Chelsea will do little, if any, business when the window opens next month.

"I need a striker," said Scolari. "In front, after midfield. For the game against Arsenal, I lost two strikers in Franco Di Santo (injury) and Didier Drogba (suspended), and I had only Anelka."

He added: "If I had one player more in very good condition, I'd have more options for change sometimes. I have some names. If the situation is (the same) for me, I'll speak to the board about one player more. If it's normal, with no injuries, maybe we don't need anyone.

"I think it's a maximum of one player we need. Only one more. Now, because I have many injuries, I say to the board that I maybe need one player."

Meanwhile, Chelsea declared themselves "vindicated" on Friday night when groundsman Sam Bethell was cleared of charges of racism towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in last season's 'Battle of Stamford Bridge'.

Evra was handed a four-match ban by the Football Association after being found guilty of improper conduct while Chelsea were fined £25,000 for Bethell's actions after he got involved with United players during their warm-down.

But it was the accusation of racism that caught the headlines following the incident in April, and the Blues were delighted their man was cleared.

A club statement read: "Chelsea would like to thank the Football Association for their decision that there was no racist element involved in the incident between Patrice Evra and Sam Bethell, a member of the Chelsea ground staff.

"Chelsea always strenuously denied the racist allegation and that position has been totally vindicated by the FA."

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Didier Drogba
Nicolas Anelka
Premier League
Manchester United
Patrice Evra
Franco Di Santo

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