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Arsenal and Liverpool to commence battle for Lille striker

| 16.05.2014

Ex-Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is to be given a second chance to prove himself in the Premier League after being targeted by two of England’s biggest clubs.

The Ivory Coast hitman was deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge in 2012 but has put in a number of dazzling displays across the channel for Lille to attract admiring glances from both Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rogers.

Wenger’s Gunners are poised to end their nine-year wait for a trophy with victory over Hull in the FA Cup final this weekend, with Wenger’s men priced at 9/20 to beat the Tigers, and the silverware could yet convince Kalou to return to London.

The forward managed just 60 goals from 251 appearances during his first crack at the Premier League but his confidence has been rebuilt with a solid return in the French top flight, where he has bagged 26 strikes from his 63 games.

Kalou’s tally of 14 goals and five assists this season mean Lille are on the brink of grabbing the final Champions league qualification spot in France but this form means Arsenal will face stiff competition from Premier League runners-up Liverpool.

With Victor Moses returning to Chelsea and the Reds braced for Luis Suarez bids from Real Madrid, Rodgers is keen to add firepower to his side’s attack and believes Kalou could compliment the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

However, with two years remaining on his Lille contract and Kalou not wanting to discuss his future until after the World Cup, there is plenty of time for Lille to start a bidding war.

The Premier League is thought to be the player’s first choice destination but with Serie A giants Roma, Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid and mega rich Monaco all monitoring the situation the price is likely to be high.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.