Malouda and Anelka head Chelsea summer clearout
Published 23:01 27/04/11 By Martin Lipton
Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka are set to head the casualty list as Chelsea plan a second summer revamp.
Defenders Paulo Ferreira, Jose Bosingwa and Yuri Zhirkov will also go, with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy preparing a radical overhaul of the squad over the next two years. And the future of Didier Drogba is up in the air as Blues bosses want the squad tailored to the requirements of £50million Fernando Torres rather than the Ivory Coast striker.
The changes are in the pipeline irrespective of the identity of the coach for next season, with Carlo Ancelotti still awaiting formal news of whether he will be sacked or allowed to see out the final year of his contract.
Owner Roman Abramovich is ready to sanction the next stage in the rebuilding of a squad that lost its league title this season due to a severe lack of depth and ageing players.
Malouda and Anelka, in particular, have become the focus for the ire of some members of the Blues hierarchy.
Malouda was accused by senior figures of going missing during the club’s three-month ‘bad moment’, while Anelka’s poor performance in the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford has done the striker few favours.
As Mirror Spot have reported, Chelsea have earmarked Ajax right-back Gregory Van Der Wiel and Spurs winger Gareth Bale as their first two targets, alongside a central midfield playmaker.
This summer’s recruits will be established internationals in the 21-28 age bracket, as part of a conscious effort to change the squad’s age profile.