£9m former Chelsea forward on verge of bargain £3m Spurs switch


Former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is set for a return to the Premier League, with a £3m switch to Tottenham Hotspur in the offing.

The Ivorian, 28, first arrived in England in 2006 after Chelsea paid £9m to Dutch side Feyenoord for his services, and enjoyed a six year stay at Stamford Bridge, scoring 60 goals in over 250 appearances, as well as contributing 40 assists before moving to Lille in the summer of 2012 upon the expiration of his contract.

He ended up being something of a replacement for Eden Hazard, who left the Ligue 1 club for Chelsea that same summer, and flourished under now-Roma boss Rudi Garcia, scoring 16 goals in just 37 games, and laid on six assists as well as he settled into life in France seamlessly.

His second season in Ligue 1 hasn't quite been as fruitful, scoring just six goals in 20 appearances, but he's still impressed enough for manager Tim Sherwood to make a move for Kalou, who is reportedly ready for a return to England after two years away from the Premier League.

Spurs were in desperate need of striking options this month even before the departure of Jermain Defoe to FC Toronto, and that need has been exacerbated by the England international's departure from White Hart Lane. There is also the possibility of wingers Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli leaving the club this month, and that's where Kalou's versatility comes in.

Capable of playing up front or out wide, Kalou would arrive in North London and instantly compete for starting roles in either position, aiding a Spurs attack that has been lacklustre at times this season. The £3m fee suggested for Kalou could be a bargain given the number of positions he can play, and regular football in France seems to have reinvigorated the Ivorian after his time at Chelsea was mostly stop-start.

Reports suggest that Kalou is in London today to begin negotiations with Spurs, which would be something of a coup considering that Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool were also rumoured to be interested in bringing Kalou back to England. Whether considered a starting player or somebody who can add depth to the squad, Kalou could be a valuable signing for Sherwood – particularly at the suggested price of just £3m.

images: © Ben Sutherland, © Ben Sutherland

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