There are all sorts of reports circulating lately that Chelsea FC have decided to include Florent Malouda in the 25-man squad for the second half of the season. While some are surprised by that fact, the fact remains that Malouda was also included in the 25-man squad this past fall. He still didn't train or play with the team, and hasn't even met interim manager Rafa Benitez (lucky him).
Some wondered if this meant that Malouda would be playing a part for Chelsea during the season's second half, but Malouda himself does a nice job of putting that thought to bed. Via to Malouda's twitter:
I don't know who said I've been integrated, I've just finished 5 months ban and I still have another 5 months ban !!!— Florent Malouda (@realflorentm) February 1, 2013
That should pretty much end any thoughts of Malouda taking part in Chelsea's second half. It sounds as if the club are content to let him rot away in hiding, and that we won't be seeing a move abroad this month either. Malouda himself seems none too pleased about the situation, and I have a hard time blaming him.
This morning I praised the club for the way they have handled the six U21 players that they released and the handling of some idiot fans, but they have absolutely butchered their handling of Malouda. Just release him from his contract with the caveat that anything he makes this spring gets knocked off the remaining amount Chelsea owe him. I can't honestly believe he'd take issue with that, and he's been a good enough servant to the club over the years that he deserves at least that much.
There's still a chance that Chelsea can find Malouda a new home via transfer, and frankly I hope they do everything in their power to do so. If we can't and we have no use for him though, let the guy move on with his career already. Don't act like spoiled little children because he wanted the money you promised him when you extended his contract. Florent doesn't appear to be in the wrong here, and the way the club is treating him is just embarrassing.