PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Salomon Kalou of Cote D'Ivoire in action during the Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Ivory Coast at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
So this is a rumour that's going to make a lot of people unhappy: According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are talking to Salomon Kalou about a contract extension rather than just letting him leave this summer, and the 26-year-old is looking to be guaranteed first-team football before he commits his long-term future to the club.
Kalou, of course, tends to be a whipping boy for many, picking up far more abuse than is probably appropriate for a striker of his calibre. His unfortunate appearance at Valencia aside (which turns out to have cost us absolutely nothing in the long run, mind), he's been pretty alright this year, and his performance in the Africa Cup of Nations should be incentive enough for the Blues to play him over, say, Florent Malouda. That said, he's not a long-term starter for a team which dreams of returning to its days as a major European force.
If Chelsea are looking at £80,000 per week with a guarantee of significant first team football in order to retain Kalou this summer, the answer should probably be no. Kalou's merits are that he's a superb backup and is relatively cheap by Chelsea standards. Better to spend on top-tier talents than to retain impact substitutes, no matter how much they've done for the club.