Olympique Lyon to Offer Chelsea's Florent Malouda a Return to France?

Christopher AlmerasCorrespondent IISeptember 10, 2012

Malouda could find a return home to Lyon in his future
Malouda could find a return home to Lyon in his futureShaun Botterill/Getty Images

The changing of the guard at Chelsea is in full swing. This summer has seen players like Eden Hazard and Oscar, among others, arrive in London. The move towards a younger squad is spelling the end at Chelsea for some veterans.

Didier Drogba made his exit as a hero following the Champions League triumph. Since that time, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and now Florent Malouda have all been subject to rumors regarding their future at the Bridge.

The recent speculation surrounding Malouda began when he was banished to train with the youth squad for the rest of the season, according to The Daily Mail. Since that time, rumors have mounted regarding a return to Lyon for Malouda.

Malouda left Lyon for Chelsea in 2007 after being a part of Lyon's title streak in Ligue 1. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas added to the speculation with the following statement reported by Sky Sports:

"Our door is always open to former players," said Aulas. "Malouda has been in contact with our coaching team very recently."

The admission by Aulas that Lyon would have its door open is exciting for both fans of Lyon and Malouda. Malouda is still a talented player who brings a lot of skill on the offensive side of the ball.

The question may be how serious Aulas would be in bringing Malouda back. Money would be the key factor after the recent payroll purge. Lyon would not want to tie up a large sum of money on a player who is entering his final years.

This would only be a good move for Lyon if they can get him at a bargain price. Getting older and more expensive is something Lyon has been moving away from.

A decision to bring Malouda back could inject some more firepower into the midfield with his creative talents. With age becoming a concern, how many years Malouda could give at his expected level has to be considered.

This is not a knock on Malouda, but a reality in the football world. 32-year-old midfielders normally do not perform at a high level through their mid-30s. Malouda may be an exception, but is it worth the risk for Lyon.

Overall, this deal could benefit Chelsea more than Lyon.

It is good for heroes to be able to return home, but it is not always what is best for the home. Aulas will have to decide how Malouda fits into Lyon's master plan. If he fits into the plan, then a return home may be in the near future.