LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Salomon Kalou of Chelsea (L) celebrates with Florent Malouda as he scores their fifth goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Chelsea and Genk at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda are both players that all fans have a seriously fluctuating love/hate/grudging respect attitude towards, dependant on one's mood and dependant on Kalou not fluffing his lines when through on goal and Malouda not doing his best Raul Meireles impression.
This means that all fans will again probably have varying degrees of happiness for the news that's emerged out of Cobham today regarding their contract situation. Here are the quotes, to the fullest degree that I can find them:
"At the moment Kalou is finishing his contract and we haven't decided on further continuity, not me but the football club, and Malouda we have been speaking to and there is interest from both parties to continue with his future but we have to decide at the end of the season.
For the player that he was for this football club, a good servant of the club, and for the match minutes that he has at the moment it's something we have to talk about at the end of the season."
There's a lot of ways to interpret those quotes, and my best effort is that Kalou is most likely moving onto the free transfer market at the end of the season (meaning a cheap and excellent pick up for any club at/below our level, in my opinion), while AVB seems to be saying that both Malouda and Chelsea are interested in keeping the relationship going, however it seems that they're not keen to talk until the end of the season. Beyond this it looks like this is more borne out of Malouda's service to the club, but is reliant on the player's acceptance of his playing time.
This probably means there's a good chance that Malouda could follow the Kalou route, as Juan Mata is infinitely a better left winger than the Frenchman, and Malouda's other role, as a centre-mid, is an experiment we probably don't need to see again.
There's also some news from the Romelu Lukaku front (remember him?), despite the Belgian being tied up in some silly FIFA contractual rule that prevents him playing for a third team in the football calendar (correct me if wrong, of course). But for now, big giant 18-year old teddy bear striker quotes!
"It is said that the clubs are lining up to loan me and that is true, I even heard that Anderlecht want me back. The club that wants me most is my preference. I want to be No.1 for Belgium, but our other strikers are not standing still. Something has to change."
The tabloids have totally disregarded the fact he can't go anywhere by promptly linking him with Fulham, Everton and Aston Villa (while claiming Romelu is "keen to stay in the capital"). All of these are feasible options, but it's a real pity there's that thing about the transfer window being shut. So yeah, I think Lukaku's condemned to the basket unless by some "accident" Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba wake up one morning tied to one another in a locked basement. Another option is they both get injured, but in time honoured tradition of Chelsea Football Club, we'd probably just play Florent Malouda up front or something.