Chelsea's veteran French winger, Florent Malouda, has expressed his desire to stay with the club for next season, according to a report by Goal.com.
The Blues have already begun releasing fringe players, as the European Champions prepare their squad for next season's title defence and assault on the Premier League. Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has announced he will leave the club, while compatriot Salomon Kalou and Portuguese right back Jose Bosingwa have been told they can leave in the summer. True to owner Roman Abramovich's words, nobody's future seems 100 percent secure at the club. However, Malouda, who has scored 35 goals in 149 appearances for the club since arriving in 2007, is confident he will remain, despite seeing very little first-team action in the season gone by.
"During the last two transfer windows, the club have said that I was not available for transfer. I knew at the beginning of the season I would not play all that often," ESPN quoted Malouda as saying.
"This season has reminded of my first season at Chelsea. You have to accept it. I finished the previous campaign as Chelsea's leading scorer in the league and I started the next season on the bench," he added, according to Sky Sports.
Malouda, who featured in Chelsea's Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, has already seen the Blues win a league title and three FA Cups during his time at Stamford Bridge. He added the chance to win more trophies was the reason he wanted to remain with the club.
"In five years at Chelsea, I have won five trophies, the ones that I came here to try and win. The European Super Cup and the Club World Cup are two competitions close to my heart," he added, according to Sky Sports.
The 31 year old is training with his international side for the 2012 European Championships.
Meanwhile, Chelsea vice-captain Frank Lampard stressed the departure of Drogba would create "a massive hole" in the Blues' squad. The 33 year old midfielder feels Drogba was one of the best players in the Premier League.
"I didn't see Didier get too many mentions when they were voting for the Premier League team of the past 20 years. Maybe that's because people like to make a fuss about the other side of his game. But having played with him for the last eight years I tell you without a doubt that he's the best striker I've ever played with," said Lampard, according to The Sun.
"His all-round game is absolutely immense and what happened in Munich on Saturday night just confirmed what I have always believed about him. He should be right up there with Henry, Rooney and Bergkamp among the all-time greats," the Telegraph quoted Lampard as saying.
"He deserves to go out on a massive finish like this and I just wish him all the best. It's been an absolute pleasure to play with him and I'm sure he'll make the right decision about his next move," he added.