• Premier League

Di Matteo coy on Malouda and Benayoun

ESPN staff
August 21, 2012 « Blackpool sink Leeds to maintain perfect start | Chartbeat test »

Roberto Di Matteo has urged Yossi Benayoun and Florent Malouda to fight for their place at Chelsea, but conceded the pair could be on their way out of Stamford Bridge.

Neither Malouda nor Benayoun, who spent last season on loan at Arsenal, played any part in Chelsea's Premier League opener against Wigan, nor were they in the squad for the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City.

Benayoun had been in talks with Fulham, while Malouda was linked with a move to Brazilian side Santos, but the Frenchman's wage demands were reported to be too high. Both have been quoted as saying they were keen to stay at Chelsea.

Asked about the future of the pair, Di Matteo insisted they remained Chelsea players, but refused to speculate on whether they would still be at the club when the transfer window closes.

"At the moment it's just a selection issue," Di Matteo said. "We have a lot of competition and a lot of players in certain areas. That's what it is at the moment, a fight for places.

"I tend to speak to all the players. We have conversations and they are Chelsea players and part of the squad at the moment. We will have to see, but until the transfer window closes they are with us and they are part of it."

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