It’s the time of year that Homer Simpson loves more than any other – the cut. Chelsea have announced the release of 8 players – and there aren’t too many surprises. While some of the names on the list are relatively unknown, there are several players that once showed promise and potential. Of the youth players, Amin Affane, Aziz Deen-Conteh and Archange Nkumu are the unfortunate leavers, and they leave with the club’s best wishes for the future. Joining them are Ross Turnbull, Hilario, Florent Malouda, Paulo Ferreira and Yossi Benayoun.
The ex-France international Florent Malouda has been an excellent squad player at Stamford Bridge for five years now, but this season has been totally excluded from the Chelsea team (and forced to train with the U21s) amid rumours of refusing to allow the club to buy out his contract and make him a free agent this summer.
The Frenchman revealed that he is under a confidentiality agreement and not allowed to tell the world the truth about this saga, but he intends to make sure we all know when his contract finally finishes.
One of Chelsea’s summer targets, Hulk, looked like he was never going to the move he desired away from Porto, after the club rejected 50 million euros offered by the Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. Zenit must have been determined, because they have now signed the Brazilian for a reported 60 million. With Edinson Cavani pledging his future to Napoli, Chelsea’s options in January look like being Falcao or Falcao. We’ll take Falcao, then.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan claimed yesterday that Chelsea had put in another bid for 21-year old Victor Moses of £5 million and that Wigan had rejected it. The Wigan chairman values his player at about double that amount but the deal is complicated by Moses’ fervent desire to come to Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo is obviously keen on the young winger and has said “He had a good season last season. He is young and an interesting prospect.” It doesn’t look like Chelsea are going to give up on Moses, who can also play as a support striker. He claimed six goals and six assists for Wigan last season and is continuing his football progression. Whelan has tried to persuade him that his education would be better served by staying at Wigan, but to no avail.
Roman Abramovich and Roberto Di Matteo are in full accord over the need for a new right back. I am not sure if they agree on who that should be, however. Chelsea have been linked with almost every right back going this summer, but we do not seem to be any closer to a signing.
Reports today claim that the 31-year old Brazilian Maicon is close to completing a move to Madrid. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid are believed to have offered Inter Milan £6 million for the defender and, unless Chelsea move quickly, Inter are ready to accept.
It looks like Roberto Di Matteo is determined to sign 21-year old Victor Moses from Wigan. Having had an offer of around £4 million turned down as “insulting,” Di Matteo will return with an offer of £7 million up front that could rise to £10 million with add-ons, according to The Mirror. The versatile player has been used mainly on the left wing by Wigan and had a great seasom in the Premier league with the club.
Despite having signed a lucrative two year deal with Shanghai Shenhua, Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has been linked with a shock move to Spanish giants Barcelona. Meanwhile Florent Malouda is considering a move to Vasco de Gama in Brazil.
32-year old Malouda has a year to run on his current deal, but Roberto Di Matteo would not stand in the way of a transfer deal. Chelsea are in the middle of a rebuilding operation, having signed Marko Marin and Eden Hazard. They are also, supposedly, in advanced negotiations with Porto for Brazilian star Hulk. The Blues have to make room for any additions due to the 25-man squad rules in England.
England and France were knocked out of Euro 2012 at the weekend, meaning that John Terry, Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda will have no more effect on the tournament. Malouda’s last game was not a memorable one, as the whole French team failed to have any significant possession against Spain. Terry and Cole were a lot more noticeable as England held out manfully against Italy.
Terry and Cole have been two of England’s best and consistent performers during the Euros, and last night was no exception. The two defenders gave their all, and kept an inventive and creative Italian side at bay to take the game into penalties.
Mathieu Debuchy of France and Lille started Euro 2012 with a performance against England that was described as outstanding. He marauded down the right flank, even giving Ashley Cole some serious problems.
Last night against Spain was an entirely different story. Maybe because he was played in a different position, or maybe he just had a bad night, but he looked like a different player. French coach Laurent Blanc tried to negate the threat of Spain’s midfield by pushing Debuchy further forward and playing another right back, Reveillere, behind him.
Florent Malouda is the latest player to talk about new manager Andre Villas-Boas and what he has brought to Chelsea, and has already noticed a difference in his team-mates as they prepare for their latest friendly against a Thai Premier League XI later today.
Malouda played for 45 minutes on Thursday and he is hoping for a longer run out today. Speaking ahead of the game he had the following to say. “The coach said some people will play longer this time, and I’d say that our fitness is improving all the time.”