• Ligue 1

'At €87 million, perhaps Kalou could leave'

ESPN staff
January 9, 2014
Salomon Kalou has been linked with a move back to England © Getty Images

Lille president Michel Seydoux has dashed the hopes of English clubs looking to lure Salomon Kalou back to the Premier League, while he said he would welcome Eden Hazard's return to Ligue 1.

According to reports in the British media, Kalou, 28, is being tracked by Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, who are all keen on luring the Ivory Coast international back to England's top flight - where he played for Chelsea between 2006 and 2012.

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Although initially his switch to Lille, which occurred in the immediate aftermath of Chelsea's 2012 Champions League triumph, looked like it would end in failure, Kalou has developed into an integral part of the club's setup - striking six times and teeing up two more goals to help Rene Girard's men into third place in Ligue 1 at the halfway point of the season.

Given Kalou's contribution to the cause, Seydoux told RMC there is very little chance he will allow the player to leave the Stade Pierre Mauroy, or that the former Feyenoord man, who signed a four-year deal at Lille, will demand a transfer.

"At €87 million, perhaps he might go," he said. "And even then only maybe. Salomon is part of the project, in the plans. We need him. I don't want him to go and he wants to stay."

When Kalou headed across the Channel from Stamford Bridge to Lille in summer of 2012, Hazard, 23, made the opposite journey.

After watching the Belgium international come through the club's youth academy, Seydoux acknowledged he would love to see him return to Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain.

"When he left, there was a little dalliance with PSG but it wasn't with any great enthusiasm," said Seydoux, who received an estimated €40 million from Chelsea for Hazard. "Now he's a really great player.

"He's happy at Chelsea, and if he comes to Paris, it'd be all the better as we'd see him again. We need a strong PSG that can go as close as possible to winning the Champions League so that our football progresses."

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