Today in Ligue 1, Lille striker Salomon Kalou will be hoping he can add to his 14 goals this season and help fire his club into the Champions League qualifiers. It is unclear where the former Chelsea star will be playing his football next season, but the reason why he didn’t leave France in January was to help Lille finish third and now he has a job to finish.
Lille travel to the Breton town of Lorient, and they need a win to secure that third place finish. Saint-Etienne are fourth, two points behind Lille. Les Verts face bottom of the table Ajaccio at home and they will be expected to win.
If Saint-Etienne do collect the three points then Lille will need to win as they have an inferior goal-difference and have scored 11 goals less than Christophe Galtier’s side. It’s likely going to be win or bust for Lille and Kalou.
However, today may not be Kalou’s last game in France. Reports recently have suggested that as well as interest from Arsenal and Liverpool, AS Monaco may also be interested in making a move for the 28-year-old.
Champions League football could keep Kalou in Lille but his wages, that are allegedly over €2million a season, are too high for Lille to maintain without a season in the Group Stage. The third-placed side in France must get through two rounds of qualifiers to make the group stage and as it will be the non-champions path, they will have to face some of the best teams from the likes of Germany, Spain or Italy.
Kalou’s contract is too big for a side that can’t guarantee the extra income. Monaco on the other hand has already qualified for the Group Stage, and will have no problem covering the cost. Lille will only want around €3million for Kalou, and the Monegasque side will be getting a player with experience in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
It is thought that Kalou has finally settled in France and would like to continue his time in Ligue 1; it just looks unlikely that his time will be spent in the north of France. A move back to England may be tempting but the glamour of Monte Carlo could be too hard to resist.