According to reports in France, Chelsea are about to be
declared winners of the race to sign Florent Malouda from Lyon, with
Chelsea's Lassana Diarra going the other way.
Liverpool had shown interest in signing the player, and it
was believed he'd even had talks with the club about a contract – but that was
before the stories started to break that Rafa's transfer budget was much lower
than he'd been expecting. Malouda's fee jumped from below £10m to a
now-reported £17m. Rafa was no doubt
interested in the player, but even with the backing of the owners would find
£17m a little steep for the 27-year-old.
If the deal does go through it will be Chelsea's first
signing of the summer that actually included a fee, their previous three
signings all being free transfers.
Meanwhile in Spain the Barcelona chairman Joan Laporta has said
that one-time Liverpool target Samuel Eto'o is not for sale. Liverpool had been
strongly linked with the striker ever since the new owners had come on board,
but with those owners now seeming to be holding back it seemed Liverpool's
interest had waned. Now Eto'o is said to be the main target of Liverpool's
victors in the Champions League final, AC Milan, along with teammate
Ronaldinho. They say Eto'o is their top target for this summer.
Laporta said at press conference: "The club wants Ronaldinho
and Eto'o to stay and the coach agrees." He also said the two players had told
him they did not want to leave Barca.