French International Florent Malouda has revealed that he snubbed Sunday’s Premier League opponents Liverpool to join Chelsea last summer, with the winger claiming he wanted to be reunited with former Olympique Lyonnais team mate Michael Essien and friend Didier Drogba.
Reds manager Rafa Benitez had made contact with Lyon about a proposed move to Anfield, but Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho, who was then in charge at Stamford Bridge outbid the Spaniard and Malouda arrived at the Blues in a £13.5million deal from the Ligue 1 club.
28-year-old Malouda has also revealed that while he was flattered by the interest from the Merseyside club. The offer from Chelsea was too good to turn down, with Essien and Drogba already at the West London side the deciding factor in his choice of the Blues.
Malouda said: “There were discussions between Lyon and Liverpool but I had so many friends here that my mind was made up.
“I spoke with them when I was in France and I have a lot of respect for the club, just as I do for Chelsea. They have a good coach and a good spirit.
“I was in contact with them when I was in France but I wanted to come here because I knew the club and the players here much better.”