Veron best in the world, claims Ranieri


Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri told a press conference today that new-signing Juan Sebastian Veron is the "the best midfielder in the world."

And Ranieri said he was "sure" the £15million capture from Manchester United would play better for Chelsea than he did at Old Trafford, who paid £28.1million for the Argentinian.

The arrival of Veron and Joe Cole - signed for £6.6million from West Ham - has taken Chelsea's summer spending since Roman Abramovich's takeover of the club to just short of £60million.

But Ranieri scotched speculation that Inter Milan striker Christian Vieri was about to join the stampede of players heading to Stamford Bridge - "I think Christian will stay at Inter" - and admitted that Chelsea's heavy outlay on players did not guarantee success this season.

"Rome wasn't built in a day. I think Alex Ferguson had seven years to win his first title and for me now it is important to build a team and secondly a group.

"I want to build a spirit for the group because you can have all the best players in the world but if you do not have a group you cannot win.

"They (the players) must be a group, then maybe you can win. This is my target and then I want to see if we can close the gap between us and Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool."

Asked if he felt he still needed to sign a top-class striker, even if he was not expecting to land Vieri, Ranieri tetchily replied: "What I need I speak with Mr Abramovich about - not you."