West Ham close in on £3m Kalou move

The Hammers are keen to bring the former Chelsea striker to Upton Park and are in negotiations with the player's agent with a £45,000 a week contract on offer
By Paul Clennam

West Ham are confident of completing a £3 million deal with Lille to sign former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou in the next 10 days, Goal understands.

Kalou, who moved to the French outfit last summer after six years at Stamford Bridge, will be offered a £45,000-a-week contract to bring him back to London.

Naim Beneddra | Goal France

Salomon Kalou’s start to life in France was disappointing and many observers even wondered if Lille had not made mistake by gambling on him.

The Ivorian made little impact during the first part of the season, but he has responded well after a slow start.

Since January, he proved to be a key man for Lille with a total of 12 goals in 14 games played (compared to just two in 2012).
The Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit are desperate to remove his wages from their annual budget and the Hammers have switched their attentions to the 27-year-old after being heavily linked with a move for Loic Remy.

Kalou's representatives held talks with West Ham on Friday with the player having previously held reservations over being played on the wing by Sam Allardyce, as he wants to be deployed centrally.

"The chairman is speaking with the player’s agent," Allardyce confirmed to the press on Friday. 

"We understand he wants to come back and play in England and we are having a look at it.

"His record at Chelsea, his scoring record in France and his age is very appealing. But which position he wants to play could be a stumbling block."

West Brom, whose manager Steve Clarke worked closely with Kalou at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, are also monitoring the forward's situation.

Kalou bagged 14 goals in 28 Ligue 1 games last term, as the 2011 French champions missed out on a European spot after finishing sixth under coach Rene Girard.