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Chelsea Offers Gallas for Cole; All Bets are off

Chelsea's lengthy pursuit of Ashley Cole continues after the Premiership champion offered a straight swap for France defender William Gallas. This latest offer is likely to anger Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who just saw his $9 million bid for Gallas rejected by Chelsea over the weekend. Says the Sunday Times: "Chelsea's offer seems certain to be met with derision in North London and may be seen as an act of provocation." Arsenal asked for $47 million for Ashley Cole and was instead offered straight swap for a player valued several times lower. The Times says the deal looks off, which means William Gallas will probably spend the year in Chelsea's reserves. Arsenal, at least, would keep one of the world's best left backs instead of losing him to a rival. "It does not seem feasible that David Dein, the Arsenal vice-chairman, would accept such a humiliating loss, no matter what the footballing merits of the proposed transfer." Too bad for Cole: the player has had long-standing grievances with his current employer, one for going back on a contract promise from two years ago, and the other for his treatment during last year's infamous "tapping up" incident with Chelsea in January 2005. Gallas is also anxious to leave Stamford Bridge after asking for a transfer request after complaining about not being paid as much as his other teammates. He recently rejected a new five-year contract extension that would have paid him $132,000 a week.

Read the whole story at The Sunday Times »

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