Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole train ahead of Chelsea's match with Basel

Chelsea could welcome Gary Cahill back into the squad which departs for Basel on Wednesday morning for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, though Ashley Cole is not expected to travel.

Both England defenders have been absent over recent weeks as they recover from injuries sustained during Chelsea's recent cluttered fixture schedule. Cahill damaged a knee in the victory over West Ham last month and the meniscus problem kept him out of England's World Cup qualifiers in San Marino and Montenegro while Cole hurt a hamstring in the FA Cup quarter-final replay victory over Manchester United.

Both players trained at Cobham , along with Oscar who suffered a minor groin strain in Sunday's draw at Liverpool, but it remains to be seen whether the interim manager, Rafael Benítez, considers the pair ready for a return to competitive action. Cahill is the closer of the two and may fly with the team to Switzerland, though Cole is expected to remain behind and may be considered instead for Sunday's visit of Swansea to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea seek to ease him back in.

Branislav Ivanovic will travel after being bitten by Luis Suárez at Anfield on Sunday, with the Swiss club's coach, Murat Yakin, joking he hoped the Serb "does not come to Basel suffering from rabies". Yakin, who was appointed last October and is hoping to take a Swiss side into a major Uefa final for the first time, added in the newspaper Blick that he has no desire for the semi-final to degenerate into a game of "Pac-Man".

Chelsea are taking Juventus to a Fifa dispute panel this week to try to claim millions of pounds in compensation for their former striker Adrian Mutu. The Romania international was sacked by Chelsea after testing positive for cocaine in 2004 and the club have been on a nine-year battle to reclaim the money they lost in signing him.

After serving a seven-month ban Mutu went on to sign for Juventus via the Italian side Livorno, who acted as an intermediary because at the time Juventus had filled their quota of overseas players.

The Swiss courts have ordered Mutu to pay compensation of €17.2m (£14.7m) to Chelsea but he has still not paid up and the club are pursuing legal action against Juventus and Livorno, holding them to be liable for payment because they signed him for nothing.

Chelsea had paid £15.8m to sign him from Parma and Juventus went on to sell him for £6m to Fiorentina. The case is being held before Fifa's dispute resolution chamber in Zurich this week.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We are exercising our legal remedies to recover the amounts owed to us and we will continue to do so."

Chelsea have also taken legal steps to try to claim three properties bought by Mutu in Miami worth several million pounds in total. Mutu, 34, plays in France's Ligue 1 for the Corsican side Ajaccio. He has said he intends to retire at the end of next season.

Powered by article was written by Dominic Fifield, for The Guardian on Tuesday 23rd April 2013 21.18 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Ben Sutherland

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