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Botafogo close to signing Salomon Kalou on a free transfer

Botafogo are understood to be close to signing Salomon Kalou on a free transfer, according to the club’s former president Carlos Augusto Montenegro.

The Brazilian Serie A outfit made the headlines at the beginning of the year with the Bosman purchase of Keisuke Honda and they were recently fancied to sign Yaya Toure, although no deal materialised.

Montenegro has now revealed that Botafogo have a pre-contract agreement in place to sign Kalou on a free transfer following the expiry of his Hertha Berlin contract on June 30.

He added that the Ivorian star should make the move to the club this summer, so long as cross-town rivals Vasco da Gama don’t hijack the deal at the final hurdle.

He already has the pre-contract, but he asked for just one more detail in the contract that was sent to him. I think it is all OK. And if no candidate to Vasco da Gama’s presidency appears at [Kalou’s] home, I believe he might come [to Botafogo],” He told SporTV (h/t Globoesporte).

Kalou has been with Hertha for the past six years and during this period, he has bagged 53 goals and registered 16 assists from 173 appearances across all competitions.

Over the past year, the 34-year-old has seen his playing time drastically reduced. In the 2019/2020 campaign, he made only seven appearances for the club and was suspended for the restart after the COVID-19 break.

The former Chelsea star was heavily criticised for greeting his Hertha teammates and club officials with handshakes in the wake of the pandemic and he was therefore suspended by the club for the rest of their season.

Kalou recently talked up the possibility of playing in Major League Soccer, but a move to the Brazilian top-flight appears a much better option as it is regarded as a superior league in terms of talent.

The previous campaign was a disappointment for Botafogo as they finished just seven points ahead of the relegation places. It was the first time since their promotion in 2016 that they had ended in the bottom half of the table.

The arrival of Kalou should provide them with the additional firepower upfront. The Rio de Janeiro outfit managed only 31 goals from their 38 league matches last term.

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