Kakuta eyes regular Chelsea spot
Chelsea forward Gael Kakuta set his sights on earning a regular place in Carlo Ancelotti's first team after committing his future to the club by signing a new four-and-a-half year deal yesterday.
Reports had suggested the French youngster could be set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after talks that opened in September failed to come to an agreement over a contract extension. But the Frenchman, who joined Chelsea in 2007 after a legal wrangle with former club Lens, ended speculation about his future yesterday by penning a new deal which will now run out in 2015.
"Since I signed for Chelsea when I was 16 all I was thinking about was to get to the first team," said Kakuta, who has made nine appearances for the club this season. "Now I have been playing a few times with the first team and I have signed for four-and-a-half more years, I have to make a way for myself into the starting 11 and make my dream come true.
"The manager said to me it is the right time to play and I think for me it is as well. It's my job to do my best and try to play more often and show the coach that I am good enough to play in the team."
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has put faith in Kakuta, Dutch youngster Jeffrey Bruma and English prospect Josh McEachran, rather than dip into the transfer market this season. The Italian also hopes to add 15-year-old Feyenoord defender Nathan Ake in January.
The Londoners are understood to have come to an agreement with the Dutch club over the transfer of the youngster, who is expected to sign a professional contract at Stamford Bridge when he turns 16 in February - a deal which will see Feyenoord receive compensation set by a tribunal.
The move for Ake has caused controversy in Holland, where Feyenoord sporting director Leo Beenhakker, without naming Chelsea specifically, expressed his dismay at how he thinks Premier League clubs are taking youngsters from their clubs before their 16th birthday.
"It's driving me crazy that hot prospects are walking away from us like this," Beenhakker told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. "The Premier League clubs spoil the market with their behaviour. Other clubs in Europe aren't doing this kind of things, but the English sides just don't care."
Chelsea said they have been closely working with Feyenoord throughout negotiations with their Dutch counterparts and insisted their dealings with the club were above board. The spokesman said: "We have kept Feyenoord abreast of our interest and as such we have reached an agreement with them."
Meanwhile, Nicolas Anelka's brother and agent has claimed the striker could move to the United States when his Chelsea contract expires. The 31-year-old's deal at Stamford Bridge runs until 2012, by which time he will have spent 11 seasons in English football.
And he could be tempted to follow former France team-mate Thierry Henry to the States in search of a fresh challenge. Claude Anelka said, in comments reported by the Daily Star: "Nicolas told me he is interested in playing in the United States.
"We could see him crossing the Atlantic, and I'm serious when I say this. He asked himself what he will do once his current contract runs out. The US is quite something, and a dream destination. He says he will give it a try, even though he would earn less money than in somewhere like Qatar."