It looks increasingly likely that Florent Malouda will be leaving Stamford Bridge in 2012 after Arsenal appeared as the latest team to be interested in his signature.
Whispers suggested in December that the Gunners could be giving the French international attention but it now looks assured that Arsenal will make a bid after Malouda’s low involvement in recent weeks.
The 31 year-old has slipped down the pecking order with the Blues and doesn’t seem to feature in the long-term plans of manager Andre Villas Boas.
It’s understood that Malouda is seeking an extension that will keep him at the club until after the 2012-13 season, but with that seeming highly unlikely, it would appear that his departure is imminent.
The winger is contracted to the West London outfit until the summer, after which he will be allowed to leave the club on a free transfer.
This would lead one to believe that the side may be tempted into selling now unless his cover is really that coveted.
Malouda has made 15 Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season, however eleven of those came from the bench and the maestro is looking for more of a prominent role at the club.
With Euro 2012 just around the corner, Malouda will be desperate to feature in what could be his last major international tournament and more game time is the only way to attain that.
Arsene Wenger will be expected to fork out over £4m for the signature of Malouda, adding to the already strong French contingent at the Emirates Stadium.
Andrey Arshavin’s exit could be a potential deal-breaker in the transfer as he would free up funds as well as space on the pitch for Malouda’s deployment.