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Monday, 21 May, 2001, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Poyet heads for Chelsea exit
William Gallas
Gallas is expected to replace Leboeuf
Chelsea have agreed to allow Gustavo Poyet to leave the club after the midfielder handed in a written transfer request.

Poyet, 33, has been unhappy with his failure to secure a regular starting place over the past couple of months and has decided to seek a final new challenge in his career.

While Chelsea have not yet received any formal offers, it is thought the Uruguay international may be in favour of staying in London.

Gus Poyet
Poyet will command a fee of around 2m
Fulham and Tottenham are among those clubs who could be interested, although Chelsea would be looking for a transfer fee in the region of 2m.

The news came on the day that Chelsea made their first foray into the transfer market after securing a place in the Uefa Cup next season, by completing the 6.2m signing of French defender William Gallas.

The 23-year-old defender signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge after terms were agreed with Marseille, with Chelsea keen to reduce the average age of their squad.

His arrival cleared the way for the expected departure of Frank Leboeuf this summer, although the Frenchman still has to find a new club in either France or Spain.

Poyet, meanwhile, is definitely leaving after four years at the club, during which time the talkative midfielder has become a firm favourite with the fans.

Gus has put in a written transfer request and we have reluctantly agreed to put him on the transfer list
  Colin Hutchinson

Despite two serious knee injuries, he has regularly found the net and memorably scored the two goals against Newcastle which secured Chelsea's FA Cup final place last season.

However, coach Claudio Ranieri has been using fresher legs in midfield and Poyet, who has only one year left on his contract at Chelsea, has found himself increasingly on the bench.

Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson, who held talks with Poyet on Sunday, said: "Gus has put in a written transfer request and we have reluctantly agreed to put him on the transfer list."

Chelsea will almost certainly replace him with a new midfielder, with the club continuing to monitor the situations surrounding Frank Lampard, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Emmanuel Petit.

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