Chelsea

Di Matteo Confirms Chelsea’s ’26th’ Man

New Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is planning a second player exodus with Florent Malouda heading the way.

At the end of one of Chelsea’s most triumphant seasons the Blues boss along with owner Roman Abramovich decided to let players like Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa leave. This was followed by the announcement that ever present Paulo Ferreira is available for transfer.

Well it seems Di Matteo and Abramovich are keen to make more room for new signings as they look to revitalise the Chelsea squad.

Malouda has joined up with the Chelsea squad for the USA tour after his Santos move collapsed but has been told he does not figure in Di Matteo’s plans next season.

The Chelsea boss said:

“Florent is back with us now and I will have a talk with him this week.

“We cannot name more than 25 players in the squad so we will have to make some decisions.

“Pre-season gives me a great opportunity to look at the new players and see how they develop.

“The final decision on who will go and who will stay will be made at the beginning of August.”

Malouda has one-year left to run on his £70,000 pwk contract and was hoping to see out his deal before leaving on a free, but it seems Chelsea want to cash in asking for around £5m for the player.

Yossi Benayoun and Gael Kakuta are also surplus to requirements after returning from loans while Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Josh McEachran are likely to be sent on loan.

With a deal for Brazilian wonderkid Oscar within touching distance and following the arrival of Hazard and Marin it seems Di Matteo does not want to stop there.

He still wants to sign a striker and a right-back before the new season as he looks to challenge for the Premier League crown once more.

Benayoun and Kakuta deals make sense as they have rarely threatened to break into the first team, however, McEachran, De Bruyne and Lukaku should be given a chance.

Lukaku impressed against Seattle in the opening game of the US tour scoring twice and under Di Matteo he could flourish. I would rather keep Lukaku as back up to Torres and any new signing (perhaps Cavani) than keep Sturridge who will struggle to become a team player.

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