Jan 102013

Chelsea are said to have put Guingamp midfielder Giannelli Imbula at the top of their January shortlist, after receiving highly encouraging scout reports from their top scouts.

The 20 year-old is a regular for Guingamp in the French second-tier, and has been watched closely by London rivals Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers.

Chelsea are confident of pipping their rivals to his signature, and are expected to reopen negotiations with the club within the next week.

Imbula has a £6million release clause in his contract, and is apparently unavailable for a penny less. Chelsea are likely to negotiate on the price, with the offer of letting them keep him in their playing squad until the end of the season.

Chelsea are in the hunt for a new box-to-box midfielder to replace the English veteran Frank Lampard. The 34 year-old is to be allowed to leave at the end of his contract in June, along with fellow England regular Ashley Cole.

Both players are currently playing in the first-team squad, but the Blues are looking to lower their wage budget, with both players currently receiving in excess of £100K a week.

I would like to see more of the French midfielder before passing my own judgement, but the reports sound like he would be a great signing for the future.

Jun 082010

The Chelsea and France winger Florent Malouda thinks that the national team are missing a natural leader like Patrick Vieira or Claude Makele before him. France has been extremely unconvincing in qualifying for the World Cup, and even more so in their recent warm up matches, and Malouda admits the team have “problems”.

“The problem is, after what we did in 2006 – and of course there was a great generation in 1998 and 2000 – expectations are very high,” Malouda told The Guardian.

“And the Euro in 2008 was a disaster. So when you are in a bad situation everything is coming out, and people are pointing the finger.

“The World Cup is really close and honestly we have a lot of problems to fix. When there is tension, when there is high-pressure games, you need characters. You need people to come out and say ‘I will take responsibility’.”

He added: “Honestly we have a lot of problems. We have to talk about a lot of things. But for that you need someone to take the first step. Guys like Patrick Vieira and Claude Makelele who can take the lead. If they are not there, somebody has to do it.”

France have a lot of top class players in thei team, but I can’t see them performing to their quality again until they get rid of Raymond Domenech. He really has no idea what he is doing…………

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