Sevilla have agreed a deal to sign out-of-contract winger Gael Kakuta, with the Frenchman’s deal at Premier League champions Chelsea running out this summer. Sevilla will have to pay Chelsea a fee despite him being out of contract, because he is under the age of 24.
Kakuta moved to Chelsea in 2007 aged 16 and became a prominent figure in their youth team, being voted Academy Scholar of the Year in his first at the club as he finished the season’s top scorer for the youth team with 12 goals in 24 appearances.
Kakuta’s progress was hampered by injury
In his second season at Chelsea, he was given the opportunity to train with the first-team, though his opportunities were limited and was restricted to playing with the reserve team. Any progress he was making came to a halt when he suffered a double ankle fracture in February 2009 – he wouldn’t return until the following season, six months later.
On 3rd September 2009 it was announced by FIFA that Kakuta would be banned for four months and fined €780,000 due to breach of contract when leaving his old club Lens to join Chelsea in the summer of 2007. Chelsea were also banned from signing any players in the next two transfer windows for their involvement in inducing Kakuta to break his contract with Lens to move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea appealed both decisions and eventually took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the bans were subsequently lifted as it was found that Kakuta did not have a valid contract with Lens and therefore could not have breached it.
In the following years, Kakuta failed to make an impression on the Chelsea first-team and despite signing the contract that is due to expire this summer in December 2010, he expressed a desire to leave, stating he wasn’t willing to sit on the bench for another year.
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