London, April 14:

English Premiership champions Chelsea confirmed on Thursday they had been in discussions with Michael Ballack over a proposed move by the Germany international captain from Bayern Munich.

Earlier, Ballack said he’d had “serious talks” with the London club, a view subsequently backed up by Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon. “I would echo that we are in serious negotiations. Clearly he is an outstanding and big player so I think we are in good, serious negotiations with him,” Kenyon said.

“I always wanted to play abroad at some stage. This is the last chance for me to do this.” The 29-year-old midfielder turned down a four-year contract with Bayern.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho openly expressed his interest in Ballack and the club, bankrolled by billionaire Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich, are reportedly prepared to make him the world’s highest-paid player with a weekly salary of $210,900.