MONACO CLOSE IN ON LEBOEUF
By David Allen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The former Strasbourg stopper, 33 next week, has long been the subject of speculation linking him with a return to France, but he has now admitted for the first time that he could be interested in a move to the Principality after speaking to Monaco manager Claude Puel.
"I am happy with my time in England," he said. "I won titles, but now I have to try something else and there are other titles to win with Monaco.
"They share my ideas and they deserve better than to be where they are at the moment, 14th in the table."
Leboeuf, who has added the European Cup Winners Cup, two FA Cups and a League Cup to the World and European titles won with France while at Stamford Bridge, is now expected to be offered a two-and-a-half-year contract with last season's Championnat winners, with the clubs believed to be close to agreeing a transfer fee.
He has been unsettled since Claudio Ranieri took over from Gianluca Vialli earlier in the season, and is now expected to complete a return to France in the coming days, with Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson admitting that he expects to hear from Monaco soon after their initial approach last week.
Puel is also close to completing a deal to take Internazionale's Benoit Cauet back to the Stade Louis II, although the move is not expected to involve Shabani Nonda going in the opposite direction.
The 23-year-old striker has been a target for Inter for some time, and their scouts watched him in the clash with Sedan, where his 43rd minute drive was the difference between the sides.
Monaco admitted at the weekend that they will be willing to open talks with Inter this week over a possible £17 million move, with the French club already looking at a £3.5 million profit on the fee which they paid to Rennes in the summer.