Lille’s untimely exit from this season’s Champions League at the group phase could offer Tottenham Hotspur some hope if they wish to pursue a deal for want-away striker Salomon Kalou.
The former Chelsea star has long been linked with a return to the Premier League, having impressed during a two-season stint in France, where he has scored 30 goals in 66 Ligue 1 games for LOSC.
That return was enough to see the 29-year-old become the subject of significant transfer speculation with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all thought to be keen on completing a deal for the forward.
And ahead of Lille’s 2-0 second leg defeat to Porto in Champions League qualifying – a result that saw the French side eliminated from the competition – the Ivory Coast international admitted a summer move could well be on the cards.
“My departure from Lille? It is 50-50,” the striker told L’Equipe.
Liverpool look unlikely to pursue a deal for Kalou following the arrival of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan, while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains adamant that no new forwards will be arriving at the Emirates before the close of the transfer window.
Those developments could clear the way for Tottenham to launch a bid to bring Kalou back to the Premier League, though they could face competition from Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, who have emerged as leading contenders to land the ex-Chelsea man.
Kalou even admitted in the interview with L’Equipe that “The German league is good for forwards.”
Ultimately it could come down to results in the Europa League, with both Spurs and Gladbach in action and looking to reach the group phase of a competition that now grants a Champions League place to the eventual winner.
The additional fixtures brought on by progression could see Tottenham look to recruit striking reinforcements, as the club aims to balance the demands of a top four challenge with European football.