Revitalised Ivory Coast international will hold fresh contract talks with senior Stamford Bridge officials within weeks as his future remains up in the airEXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey
Salomon Kalou has attracted interest from a dozen leading clubs in England and on the Continent, including Liverpool and Arsenal, while his Chelsea future remains up in the air, Goal.com has learned.
The Ivory Coast international can leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires.
|CHELSEA WITH KALOU SINCE FEBRUARY
|CHELSEA WITHOUT KALOU SINCE FEBRUARY|
"More than 12 leading clubs are closely monitoring his contract talks," one insider said.
Kalou, who is available to be selected in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona on Wednesday night, has been given a new lease of life at Chelsea under Roberto Di Matteo after being sidelined by previous manager Andre Villas-Boas for rejecting the new four-year deal, believed to be on the same £80,000-a-week terms as his current agreement, that he was offered last September.
He was selected in the starting XI for the first two games under the Portuguese back in August but then made only two more starts for Chelsea in the next seven months.
Since being recalled to the team by Di Matteo, who picked him for the opening match of his tenure, a 3-0 FA Cup win at Birmingham City on March 6, Kalou has been involved in all eight of Chelsea’s Premier League and FA Cup matches. He also featured for all but eight minutes of the two-legged Champions League quarter-final triumph over Benfica.
It is believed that the forward and his agent, Jan de Visser, will sit down with Chelsea officials within the next few weeks to discuss an improved contract.
Kalou has been publicly coy about his future but, after scoring the winner in the 1-0 win over Benfica last month, said he is keen to remain at Chelsea.
"I enjoy being here," he said. "There is no reason why I don’t want to stay. Robbie has come in and given me the chance to play more and I’m very happy with that.
"I never think there is no way I shouldn’t have a future at the club."
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