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Michael Ballack to take a pay cut to stay at the Bridge

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Chelsea will offer Michael Ballack a performance-related contract as the club tries to move away from its reliance on Roman Abramovich's billions.

The Germany midfielder's deal expires at the end of the season, but both parties are keen to secure the 32-year-old's services for at least another year.

Ballack earns £121,000 a week after arriving on a free transfer from Bayern Munich before the 2006 World Cup.

Although a new contract would be based on a lower salary, the player could earn significant bonuses if he and the team perform well, according to reports in The Times.

Ballack is happy with the proposal, but reports suggest he would prefer a two-year contact. Chelsea are overhauling their wage structure to offset the problems of an aging squad, which could see older players more susceptible to injury or loss of form.

The change will also allow Chelsea to function without Abramovich injecting cash, but the Blues deny this is connected to the oligarch's losses in the Russian stock market.

Frank Lampard's five-year deal is understood to include successive wage increases for the first three years before taking a pay cut for the last two years of his contract, whilst negotiations with Didier Drogba, Joe Cole and John Obi Mikel, who all have 18 months left on their deals, will wait until the summer.

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has been told he will not have money to spend in the transfer window unless Chelsea suffer injuries or receive strong offers for fringe players, but the Blues can expect to strengthen in the summer.

The club has already received £12million from Manchester City for Wayne Bridge and will look to recoup funds from the sales of Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou.

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I think this new style contract for our older players is a really smart move. Look at what Sheva earned and what we realistically got for our money. No more over 30's coming to SB to sit back on a big pay day. Really good idea from Chelsea for a change. Besides, you'll soon see the merceneries hot foot it out the club then.

Glad to hear the five year deal they gave Lampard see's a reduction in his salary after 3 years as well.

I'm really liking this particular financial change.

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Malouda I see sense in that, but Kalou (as much as he is frustrating) is definately one for the future. Didnt he top the list last season for assists ?

i agree with that

salou is frustrating at times but he works his socks off and you can sometime see what he tries to do

flo on the other hand disappears in the game and looks lost

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