Bayer to snub offers for Lucio

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BAYER LEVERKUSEN have once again stressed that Brazilian defender Lucio will not be sacrificed due to their precarious financial position, after reports linked Chelsea with a raid on the BayArena.

A number of big names have vacated the BayArena after their abject efforts in Die Bundesliga last term.

Failure to reach a place in Europe resulted in Bayer shedding players from their squad.

Lucio was close to a move to Roma before the deal broke down at the 11th hour, prompting Bayer and the player to pledge to stay together for another season.

The declarations failed to stop the vultures from circling over the BayArena, with moneybags Chelsea said to be considering a raid for Lucio.

However, Bayer have insisted all approaches will fall on deaf ears for the next season at least.

"We can't do without him even if we have to cut back our budget," declared Bayer managing director Reiner Calmund.

"Lucio has confirmed that he wants to stay for another year and he will do so."

Roma and Juventus have all failed to land the tall defender so far and it seems that Leverkusen are prepared to hold on to their most valuable asset despite reported interest from the likes of Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The decision has come as a boost to Leverkusen skipper Jens Nowotny, who said: "Lucio is the last international star here in Leverkusen."

Although it would be folly to rule out any transfer raid involving Chelsea at the moment, a position The Blues are well stocked in is at centre half, with the club in all probability focusing their attentions on other areas of the squad.