Santos deny Chelsea midfielder pursuit

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Football News

Santos vice president Odilio Rodriguez has dismissed reports that the Brazilian club are close to agreeing a deal for Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda.

The 32-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to South America, as the 2011 Copa Libertadores winners continue their search for a replacement for Ganso, who signed for Sao Paulo last month.

Rodriguez admitted he made contact with Malouda during the summer, after the Frenchman was omitted from Roberto Di Matteo's first-team squad at Stamford Bridge, but insists that the want-away Chelsea star is no longer a transfer target.

"We spoke to the player in the summer, but now he is not in our plans," he told Brazilian station Terra. "We are not negotiating with Malouda, we have other priorities in the transfer market.

"We know that he is a great player, but we haven't made an offer."

Malouda has entered the final 12months of his contract in west London, and will be free to talk to foreign clubs in January, after Chelsea made it clear that his future lies away from the club.

Roman Abramovich recently implemented a new ruling which means all players over the age of 30 will only be offered rolling one-year contracts to remain at Stamford Bridge, but that is unlikely to affect Malouda who can walk away on a free transfer at the end of the season.

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Florent Malouda
Premier League

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