Malouda heading towards Chelsea exit as £80k-a-week star made to train alone while team-mates holiday… but he will still pocket £4MILLION this year without kicking a ball
This time last year Florent Malouda was still celebrating Chelsea’s Champions League triumph after coming on as a substitute against Bayern Munich.
Yesterday the forgotten man of Chelsea’s historic victory against Jupp Heynckes’ side in the Allianz-Arena was isolated and alone at their Cobham training centre.
There are echoes of Winston Bogarde, the £50,000 a week Dutch defender who was ordered to train with the youth in his final season at Chelsea in 2004.
Bogarde commuted from his home in Amsterdam and reported each day at Chelsea’s old Harlington training centre to fulfil his contractual obligations.
Malouda’s contract at Chelsea, which is worth £80,000 a week, does not end until June 30 and it is possible he may even be ordered to train until then.
Chelsea’s under-18 team, who lost the FA Youth Cup final against Norwich, and the Under-21 Development Squad have packed up for the summer.
It’s the penalty Malouda, who joined Chelsea in 2007 from Lyon, is paying for criticising Roberto Di Matteo’s training methods and refusing to leave last summer.
Malouda, 32, has not been involved with the first team, who are in St Louis preparing to play a showpiece friendly against Manchester City today, since last summer.
His last was the Champions League final, when he came on as a 73rd minute substitute for rookie left-back Ryan Bertrand in the Amsterdam Arena.
He went on to make three appearances for France at Euro 2012 and returned to start preparing for the new season with Chelsea under Di Matteo.
The Chelsea winger was banished to the academy building after he refused to apologise to Di Matteo during the club’s pre-season programme.
After Chelsea initially agreed to his request to leave, Malouda pulled out of a move to Mexico at the last minute and decided to stay at Chelsea for another year.
The response, which was taken at boardroom level, was to order the France international midfielder to train with the Development Squad in another area of Chelsea’s training ground.
Chelsea’s hardline stance has cost them just over £4m in wages, but the football board maintain they made the right decision when they stripped Malouda of his first team privileges.
His locker was cleared and his car parking space was allocated to another player when he was sent to train with the academy.
Incredibly his attitude has remained first class, passing on tips to some of Chelsea’s young players as he saw out the last few months of his contract.
Nathan Ake, who made his first start for the senior team against Everton on the final day of the season, along with highly-rated young players such as George Saville and Todd Kane have all benefited from his advice.
He will eventually leave as a Champions League winner, but it’s not the way he wanted to go out after six years at Stamford Bridge.
FLORENT MALOUDA BY NUMBERS
£13.5m: Malouda’s transfer fee when he moved to Chelsea from Lyon in 2007
220: Total Chelsea appearances, including 45 goals
0: Chelsea appearances in last 12 months – his last match was the Champions League final against Bayern Munich
£4.16m: Amount Malouda has collected in wages since his last match – he earns approximately £80,000 a week