Meireles move was in Chelsea’s and player’s best interests – Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo says Raul Meireles’ late transfer to Fenerbahce was in the best interests of both Chelsea and the player
Roberto Di Matteo says Raul Meireles’ late transfer to Fenerbahce was in the best interests of both Chelsea and the player.
The Portugal midfielder, who joined Chelsea from Liverpool in a deadline-day deal last summer, netted six goals and made six assists in 48 appearances for the Blues last term.
However, Di Matteo insists the 29-year-old’s decision to quit Stamford Bridge and join the Turkish outfit earlier this month was the “best way to move forward”.
“There was a decision by the club and the player,” Di Matteo said at his weekly news brief at Chelsea’s Cobham training base.
“The player has a new contract with a very good club and the offer the club received was very good, and we both decided it was the best way to go forward.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Florent Malouda has been ordered to train with the Chelsea Under-21s rather than the first-team squad after the Frenchman failed to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer.
Malouda has not been included in Chelsea’s Champions League squad for this season but is in the 25-man Premier League list – and Di Matteo said it was a joint decision made by the coach and the club.
The Chelsea boss said: “We have taken a decision as a club to put Malouda with the Under-21s.
“In the past there has been some expression from the player to maybe part company and it hasn’t happened, so in the end we moved forward and we brought in some other players and those are the players we are going to work with this season.
“The other players have accepted the decision that has been made by us and they have to focus on what is there to achieve this season.
“It’s obviously not an extremely positive decision for him but I guess in the end we have to look after our own interests and that’s the decision we have taken.
And when asked if Malouda has played his last game for Chelsea, Di Matteo replied: “I don’t know. Only the future will tell. At the moment he’s with the Under-21s.”