File photo shows France's player Franck Ribery plays with a ball during a training session at the Bon Rencontre stadium in Toulon near Marseille, February 10, 2009. [Xinhua/Reuters File Photo]
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, will fly to Germany to discuss with Bayern Munich in an attempt to recruit the French star Franck Ribery to Chelsea for an English record fee of 40 million British pounds (65.85 million U.S. dollars), according to media reports Tuesday.
It is believed Abramovich phoned Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness last week and they will now meet to discuss the offer.
A senior Bayern source said, "Uli was taken by surprise by the phone call but was very honest and courteous with Mr. Abramovich...We are still resolved to keep Ribery but Hoeness agreed to meet with Abramovich in Germany to discuss any offer."
Ribery has been the subject of several transfer links this summer. Manchester United and Chelsea will both launch bids for Ribery, but as of yet nothing has come of the interest. Ribery has only openly declared he prefers Real Madrid.
There are fears emanating from Munich that he may have signed a pre-contract with Real Madrid, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo. Angered by Real's arrogance, the Germans may try to sell him to Chelsea.
(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2009)