France winger Malouda, 32, was frozen out of the first-team picture after featuring in last season’s Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, electing to bide his time instead of taking a pay cut to move to his homeland or Brazil, where he has roots and had been reportedly interested in playing.
The former Lyon man, who sold him to Chelsea for £13 million in 2007, is now expected to return to France, although he is unlikely to command the £80,000 per week he earned at Stamford Bridge.
His Chelsea team-mates Yossi Benayoun and Paulo Ferreira were also released, while another ex Chelsea defender William Gallas was not given a contract extension by Tottenham Hotspur.
Gallas joined Spurs from North London rivals Arsenal in 2010, and is joined on the free agents list by one-time England winger David Bentley, who struggled to break into the Tottenham team and spent time on loan at FK Rostov in Russia and former club Blackburn Rovers.
Roque Santa Cruz was released by Manchester City after loan spells at Real Betis and Malaga, whose coach Manuel Pellegrini is expected to take the vacant manager’s job at Eastlands. Kolo Toure was also released by City, having agreed a move to Liverpool, while Wayne Bridge leaves to join Reading.
Mark Schwarzer’s release by Fulham would have been a surprise had the club not agreed to sign Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma. The veteran Australian was out of contract and rejected an extension.
- Sports & Recreation
- William Gallas
- Bayern Munich
- Yossi Benayoun
- Paulo Ferreira