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Arsenal and Liverpool will go head-to-head in a battle to sign Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou in a cut-price deal when the January transfer window opens.

The frustrated 26-year-old Ivory Coast striker is in the final year of his contract and looks increasingly unlikely to extend his stay.

It will almost certainly force Chelsea to consider offers for the versatile star or risk losing him for nothing next summer.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer and is prepared to test the water with a £6million bid in January.

But he faces growing competition from Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool, who are also monitoring the situation.

Kalou was axed after appearing in the opening two Premier League games for Chelsea, played against Fulham in the Carling Cup and came on as late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Valencia in the Champions League.

He conceded a late penalty for handball that earned the Spaniards a point.

Talks over extending his contract were put on hold leading to speculation he was likely to leave once his deal expired.

Several clubs could take advantage of the stand-off and secure him on a pre-contractual agreement in January. But the striker, who can also play in central midfield and on the wing, is thought to favour remaining in England.

Arsenal will almost certainly be his preferred destination.

Wenger tried to buy him from Feyenoord in 2006 but lost out to Chelsea when they paid the Dutch club £9m.

But in February 2009, Kalou caused major contro versy by admitting that he would love to play for Wenger.

Source: Mirror

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