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What's the deal with Ricky?

Ricardo Carvalho's fourth season at Chelsea wasn't the best by any stretch. In fact, the 31-year-old Portugese defender has called 2008-09 the worst term of his career.

Injuries were a major factor, obviously. But, now, with the emergence of Alex, Rick appears to be on the peripheral at Stamford Bridge. This development has brought into question Ricky's future in London.

Just a week or so ago, he pledged his future to the club. His vow to return to the highest level was thankfully recorded.

"I only think about returning stronger next season at Chelsea," said Carvalho, as reported by football.co.uk.

"This season has not been positive for me due to injuries. Now I am working to recuperate and return at the best level next season. I want to improve because I am not happy with this year on a personal level."

Today, however, reports surfaced suggesting Carv is open to leaving the Bridge. But, is this really a come-and-get-me plea? I'm leaning toward no.

"I am available for a club who wishes to have me," Carvalho said, according to Sky Sports.

"But before being approached, an agreement must be found with Chelsea, although I am delighted that several clubs are interested in me. I have had four extraordinary years at Chelsea till this year, which has not been very good, indeed the worst of my career. I wasn't in great shape because I haven't played.

"But if there is no transfer, I will be fine at Chelsea."

That final sentence kind of sums this one up. Seems to me there really isn't a story here -- that is unless he does in fact leave Chelsea. Jose Mourinho seems plenty keen on bringing one of his former pupils to Inter Milan.

Personal opinion: Carv is world-class, no question, and I believe he should hang around for the foreseeable future. The man still has 3-4 years level at the highest level and, with that being said, you never know what will happen with injuries. Depth in defense is a must -- remember 2007-08?

Stay around Ricky, you're a Chelsea legend.

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