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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
Dalla Bona shown door
Chelsea midfielder Sam Dalla Bona
Dalla Bona has complained of being homesick
Chelsea have transfer-listed Sam Dalla Bona after the midfielder turned down the offer of a contract extension.

The 21-year-old, who has one year left on his current deal, wants to return to Italy but the club say they will only accept cash-only offers for the player.

Dalla Bona turned down a move to Venezia last year and Chelsea have insisted they will force the player to see out his contract in the reserves if the right offer does not come along.


Sam has now played his last game for Chelsea
Club statement

"In view of the fact that Sam Dalla Bona has refused to sign an extension to his current contract, stating that he wants to be near his family in Italy, he has now played his last game for Chelsea," the club said in a statement.

"He has officially been placed on the transfer list with immediate effect.

"One Italian club is interested in buying Dalla Bona but they are trying to off-load an over-aged, over-paid player in part exchange.

"We are not interested in part exchange and will only accept a cash payment. In the event that no offers are made, he will see out his contract in the reserves.

"Chelsea Football Club are somewhat puzzled by Sam's attitude as we agreed a transfer to Venezia last summer, a club that is very near his family home, which he has made clear is important to him.

"So we are at a loss to understand why he turned that down but is willing to go to a club in Milan or Rome, a long distance from his family."

Dalla Bona joined Chelsea on a free transfer at the age of 17 from Atalanta in October 1998.

He was a regular member of Claudio Ranieri's squad, making 73 appearances for the club and scoring six goals.

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