Annan flattered by English interest

Ghana midfielder Anthony Annan insists he will not be affected by speculation surrounding his future, but has admitted it is flattering to be linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Lyon.

The defensive midfielder - who currently plies his trade for Rosenborg in Norway - earned rave reviews for his energetic role in Ghana's run to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they were controversially eliminated by Uruguay.

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Following his impressive displays in South Africa, the 23-year-old Black Star has been compared to former France and Chelsea water-carrier Claude Makelele, with the Blues themselves, Manchester United and Ligue 1 outfit Lyon reportedly monitoring him.

And Annan has admitted that he is flattered to be linked with Carlo Ancelotti and Sir Alex Ferguson's sides, but would not be drawn about where his next destination may be.

"I am fine at the moment," he said. "I've heard a lot about me going every summer but nothing is fazing me. It's good to hear about Manchester United, Chelsea and Lyon, but nothing is official.

"It is flattering, Lyon is a big team in Europe, but I have a contract with Rosenborg until December 2011 so let's wait and see."

Annan, the nephew of former UN-secretary general Kofi, has spent three-years in Norway following his move from Heart of Oak in his homeland and has earned 41 caps for his country.

Premier League champions Chelsea, having allowed Makelele to leave and join Paris Saint-Germain in 2008, have struggled to replace him, with both Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Ballack deployed in the holding midfield role at Stamford Bridge.

Old Trafford chief Ferguson could be tempted to swoop for Annan following the news that defensive midfielder Owen Hargreaves has suffered a further injury setback and will not be fit for the foreseeable future, while fellow central midfielder Anderson is also sidelined with knee ligament damage.

Former Bayern Munich man Hargreaves has featured in just four competitive games for the Red Devils in the last two seasons.

By James Martini

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