Kalou completes switch to Champions Chelsea

May 30, 2006

New Chelsea recruit Salomon Kalou consulted former Blues boss Ruud Gullit before signing for the Premiership champions.

The Ivory Coast-born striker signed from Dutch club Feyenoord on a three-year deal having completed a medical and agreed personal terms.

An undisclosed fee has been agreed with the Dutch club for a striker who has scored 35 goals in 67 games over the last two seasons, plus four in seven UEFA Cup appearances.

Kalou told Feyenoord's website: 'I spoke with Jose Mourinho (Chelsea manager), in French, and he convinced me.

'Of course I asked Ruud Gullit about Chelsea and I told him too I am proud I can follow at Chelsea in his footsteps. He is the one that gave me the chance at Feyenoord after all.

'I'm not afraid of the competition at Chelsea. I will give everything I can in London too to have success. I believe in myself. You must always try to get the best out of yourself. I will become a better player there.

'Of course I am very happy. Chelsea are on the way to becoming a monument and I want to be part of that. I want to be able to tell my children and my grandchildren I played there when they won the Champions League.'

Kalou scored 20 goals in the 2004/05 season, the second best total in the Dutch top flight that campaign, and he won the 2005 Johan Cruyff Award for young talent playing in Holland.

Kalou was born in Ivory Coast but failed in a bid to obtain Dutch nationality in order to play for Holland at this summer's World Cup.

Feyenoord commercial director Chris Woerts told the club's website there was no point keeping the 20-year-old once he revealed his desire to move on.

'In the end this is the best solution for everyone. The contract of Salomon would have ended in 2007 but because of all the commotion surrounding him he told us he would liked to make a fresh start somewhere else. And we understood and appreciated that.

'We will give him a warm farewell at the Feyenoord-Chelsea match at the start of the season. He deserves that.'