Hertha Berlin general manager Michael Preetz has dismissed speculation of Salomon Kalou linking up with his former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard at Derby County.
Lampard was appointed as new Derby boss earlier this month, and Sport Bild reported he wanted to lure Kalou, his 2012 Champions League-winning teammate, to England as he prepares for his first season as a manager in the Championship.
Kalou, 32, bagged 12 goals and three assists in 31 Bundesliga games last season for the capital city side. According to the report, Hertha would consider letting the Ivorian leave for a double-digit million offer.
Kalou and Lampard became good friends during their six years together at Chelsea between 2006 and 2012. The Ivory Coast striker scored 60 goals for the Blues, won the Premier League, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League in his final game against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Commenting on the interest in Kalou, Preetz told kicker: “Salomon was our top scorer last season. He is staying here — we are planning with him. With all due respect to Derby County, while it is realistic Salomon will be keen on a new challenge at some stage, it’s hardly going to be the English second division, even if Lampard and “Sala” respect each other from Chelsea.”
The German publication added that Kalou has turned down lucrative offers from China in the past, rejecting the opportunity of earning up to €7-million per year.