Former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is set to complete a move to German club Hertha BSC from French side Lille. The Ivorian striker had been linked with moves to Arsenal, West Ham United and Sunderland over the past couple of weeks, but it is the German side that has won the race to sign the centre-forward.
Lille were keen to off-load the forward due to their low income and Kalou’s high wages. The player had originally been keen at moving to a top six Premier League side, but with a lack of interest he has had to look elsewhere for a move.
The Ivorian has passed a medical at the German club and now Lille are trying to secure his replacement before giving the deal the green light.
Kalou was left out of coach René Girard’s 18-man squad as Lille travelled to Portugal for the second-leg of the Champions League qualifier against FC Porto. Despite needing to score at least once to push the game to extra-time, Girard decided that with Kalou’s future up in the air, it would be a “sporting decision” to leave him out.
The striker is earning around €2 million a year at Lille, and with the clubs finances coming under scruitiny over the past couple of seasons, the club has to downsize in order to remain competitive. Kalou may have scored 31 goals over two seasons for the club, but his overall performances have come under criticism by fans and pundits.
He may put the ball in the net, but his team play, overall work-rate and ability to bring his teammates into play has been poor over the two seasons. Lille need all eleven players on the pitch to be contributing to the cause, working together to make up for the lack of star-players.
The interest from Sunderland and West Ham United would have satisfied Kalou’s desire to return to the Premier League, but it has been rumoured that Kalou will earn around €2.5 million a year to play in Berlin. This is the same amount that they offered Pierre-Michel Lasogga before he made a permanent move to Hamburg this summer.
Bundesliga clubs Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach had been linked with the player, but he was spotted in Berlin airport on Friday morning, and the stories began to leak about the pending move.
Hertha BSC finished 11th in the Bundesliga last season, but they had the third worse attacking record in the league. Kalou might not add to the overall play off the team, but he still knows how to find the back of the net.