September 1, 2006
The Final Transfer of August…I Hope
William Gallas was tired of life at Chelsea. Being played out of position, and not really being challenged in league action were clearly taking their toll on the French international defender.
In the meantime, Ashley Cole was being tapped up by Chelsea. The huge wage increase was the driving factor in meeting up with Peter Kenyon and his associates. It was clear that at some point both players were going to have to leave their clubs.
The process of the swap deal began when Gallas did not turn up to preseason training and was subsequently excluded from the money spinning tour of America. Jose Mourinho wanted him to go public with his reasons for not playing this season. Gallas was willing to wait it out and join rivals Arsenal on a Bosman at the end of the season.
This could have all been done weeks ago, but Chelsea waited and waited until Arsenal could do nothing else in the transfer window after this deal. The Gunners wanted to get this done, but they also had the Jose Antonio Reyes saga to deal with.
Now both sides are presumably happy. The only guy who may not like this at all is the man who is backup to Ashley Cole in the England setup, Chelsea fullback Wayne Bridge.