Two Minute Warning
Walcott off to Spartak, Lyon tracking Malouda, Cole to PSG?
There was much to-ing and fro-ing at Arsenal and Chelsea this summer as both clubs freshened up their squads ahead of another tilt at Premier League and Champions League glory. Transfer speculation suggests that more change could be on the way this January with Chelsea’s Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda linked with French clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon respectively, while Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is said to be interesting Spartak Moscow. How likely are these switches to take place? The Life’s a Pitch team rate the rumours out of 10.
A big fat zero is how the Daily Mirror’s John Cross rates the chances of Walcott leaving Arsenal for Moscow this winter. “I think there is a chance that Theo Walcott might go, but I don’t think it will be to Moscow. Clearly, Arsenal have made him an offer to stay: a £75,000 a week contract. He’s got to decide whether he thinks that is the right deal for him or not. If he hasn’t signed that by January, then I think Arsenal will look to sell and you’ll have a lot of big clubs in the queue for him. Man City, for example, might be interested, Liverpool are definitely interested, and there will be foreign interest: Juventus, perhaps Inter Milan.”
And what of Cole, once of Arsenal, and talk of a reunion with former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti at PSG? Possible, but unlikely, says footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke. “Cole is 31 now and he’s not really showing any signs of being on the wane. I imagine Chelsea would want to keep him and they’re trying very hard to do so. But perhaps they’re not under as much pressure to give him the money he wants as they would be if Ryan Bertrand wasn’t around. They’ve got a ready-made replacement they can just slot in and develop. So, Chelsea could play hardball and if they do, then Ancelotti, who got on very with Ashley Cole by all accounts, [can step in]. I wouldn’t write it off, but I’d say it’s more likely not to happen, so I’d give it six out of 10.”
Wage demands have prevented Malouda finding a new club and could scupper a move back to Lyon, says the Sunday Telegraph’s Jason Burt. “I think there’s one huge stumbling block to this move happening, which you’ll be unsurprised to hear is his wages. He’s on an awful lot of money at Chelsea, about £80,000 a week. He was talking about going to Brazil – because he has a Brazilian wife – a couple of clubs talked to him, but the wages were a problem. Chelsea have told him he won’t play for the club again. I think he has to go. It would be great if [a move to Lyon] happened, and maybe Lyon could be a little opportunistic, so I’d give it a six out of 10.”
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