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£11.6 million Chelsea signing now a free agent - What next for him?

Former Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz finds himself without a club seven years after signing at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea fans will no doubt remember the name Khalid Boulahrouz, even if his performances on the pitch were more forgettable.

He cost £11.6 million from Hamburg back in 2006, only to be sold two years later to Stuttgart for £4.4 million.

His career since has been on a downwards slide, the centre-back rarely showing the consistently impressive form which earned him a move to Stamford Bridge.

He did last four seasons with Stuttgart, but was released last summer, and signed a deal with Sporting Lisbon.

While he made five Europa League appearances, he was picked just 11 times in the Primeira Liga, suffering with injury.

In fact his fitness has been the biggest hampering on his career; Boulahrouz has picked up 16 injuries in four seasons.

He was recently demoted by Sporting Lisbon to their 'B' side, and told he was not part of the club's plans this season.

This obviously did not go down well with the 31-year-old or his agent, who began looking for a way out. Realising a move was impossible with the transfer window closed, player and club managed to find a mutual financial agreement which saw his contract terminated one year early.

Sporting have had financial troubles over the past year, and obviously were happy to get his wages off their books, while Boulahrouz can begin his search for a new club.

He had been linked with a move to Crystal Palace back in April, and a Premier League return cannot entirely be ruled out. West Ham are the latest club said to be considering taking a look at him.

Just as likely though is the centre-back returning to his native Holland in search of a club. Just don't bet on Jose Mourinho bringing back one of his more expensive duds back to Chelsea. 

image: © geetarchurchy

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