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Kalou pens four-year deal with 'ambitious' Lille

Salomon Kalou said he has joined "a team that plays attractive football" after committing his long-term future to LOSC Lille Métropole following the end of his contract with Chelsea FC.

Salomon Kalou in action against Bayern during the 2012 UEFA Champions League final
Salomon Kalou in action against Bayern during the 2012 UEFA Champions League final ©AFP/Getty Images

Former Chelsea FC forward Salomon Kalou has joined LOSC Lille Métropole on a four-year contract.

The Ivory Coast international was available on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract with the Blues, for whom he scored 60 goals in a six-season spell which yielded one Premier League title, four FA Cups and, in May, the UEFA Champions League.

The 26-year-old – whose elder brother, Bonaventure, played in Ligue 1 for Paris Saint-Germain FC, AJ Auxerre and RC Lens – told the Lille website: "They are an ambitious club. I got in touch with the coach last year, but now it was easier because I was out of contract. I am happy to be here. This is a team that plays attractive football."

Lille coach Rudi Garcia said: "Salomon has just won the Champions League. I am very pleased that he has committed to LOSC. It was not easy to convince him, but finally he is here."

Last month Eden Hazard moved in the opposite direction, to Stamford Bridge, after Chelsea agreed to pay Lille a reported fee of nearly €40m. Lille will enter the UEFA Champions League in the play-off round following their third-place finish in Ligue 1 in 2011/12.