Malouda looks to make Chelsea exit in January
Florent Malouda yesterday became the latest Chelsea player to signal that he is dissatisfied with life under Andre Villas-Boas when he announced that he favoured a move this January to Paris St-Germain, having been given little playing time this season.
Malouda was a key part of the Chelsea team who won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Carlo Ancelotti in 2009 but has found himself marginalised this season and, ahead of Euro 2012 this summer, wants regular football.
The 31-year old Frenchman was quoted as saying to the French television network Canal Plus: "I'm not getting enough playing time. It's too limited for the ambitions I have. I can't be happy with that. If it is necessary, I will leave."
The club contacted Malouda, who was on a day off yesterday -- like the rest of the first-team squad. The player confirmed that he had indeed made the comments.
The France international had come on for Frank Lampard in the 61st minute of the 1-1 draw with Fulham on St Stephen's Day. It was his 21st appearance of the season, only 11 of which have been starts. He has averaged about 40 starts for the three previous seasons. Like Frank Lampard he is no longer able to take his place in the first team for granted.
So far Villas-Boas has said that only the Brazilian defender Alex and Nicolas Anelka will be permitted to leave in January. There have been rumblings of discontent around Lampard and Didier Drogba, the latter of whom is out of contract at the end of the season. Lampard looked unimpressed when he was substituted.
PSG are expected to replace their coach Antoine Kombouare with Ancelotti next month. Malouda also made it clear that he has not agreed a deal to join Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala. "I couldn't even manage to pronounce the name of this team," he said.
Anzhi, meanwhile, have confirmed the appointment of former Lokomotiv Moscow manager Yuri Krasnozhan as their new coach.
Guus Hiddink was under consideration following his departure as Turkey manager, and is expected to again advise Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich on an informal basis.
With Drogba and Salomon Kalou both due to play in the African Cup of Nations, Villas-Boas will be reluctant to lose Malouda as well as Anelka this January without further adding to his squad.
Earlier this month Anelka agreed to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in January on a two-year deal. Now Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande are looking to match Shanghai's new firepower by possibly making an even more dramatic bid to bring Drogba to China.
Shanghai, too, having also brought in French coach Jean Tigana, may have their own interest in the 33-year-old Drogba, according to previous reports. Anelka (32) will reportedly earn about £200,000 a week at Shanghai, although the club dispute the figure and have not revealed the transfer cost.
Juan Mata said he believes Fernando Torres, who failed to score in his first league start in eight games, will come good. "Fernando is working hard every day in training... and the goal arrives soon," Mata said. "Fernando always has the goals and, for Chelsea, he has to score a lot of goals." (© Independent News Service)