It feels like it is one of the longest running transfer sagas ever to grace a summer window, perhaps because it has been going on for years, but this weekend, Salomon Kalou took another step towards becoming a Premier League forward once again.
Sources in the French media and the Daily Mirror suggest that both Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in bringing the former Chelsea forward back to England, and now Lille are quite happy for the move to go through.
Last winter there was serious interest from Arsenal, with a deadline-day move falling through as Kalou wanted to stay and help get Lille in the Champions League.
Kalou’s 16 goals in Ligue 1 last season did help Lille finish in third place and they now face FC Porto over two legs for a place in the Champions League group stage, but coach Rene Girard and the Lille staff are now happy to cut their losses and say goodbye to the Ivory Coast international.
Despite scoring 30 goals in two seasons, his overall play has not been good enough to justify the salary that is meant to be over €2 million a season. Lille just can’t afford that on one player, so anything they can recoup, plus take Kalou off the books, will be a great boost to the club.
On Saturday evening, Kalou was set to lead the Lille attack against newly promoted side Metz, but his name was missing from the 18-man squad, and the rumours began to spread that he would be quickly leaving the club.
At Chelsea, Kalou was a small fish in a big pond - one of the biggest ponds in fact - but now at Lille, he is the biggest fish in their small pond, and his inability stands out.
At either English club he would be able to play the role of smaller fish without too many problems. He is never going to be the star attacker for any club, but could easily play back-up to Romelu Lukaku or Roberto Soldado.
Kalou level is around that of a Premier League back-up striker. He just hasn’t fared well as the star striker in Lille.