Hasselbaink to be sold in January clear-out

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The Independent Football

Chelsea are trying to sell Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and hope that the Dutchman's chance to play in the Euro 2004 finals will persuade him to take flight.

Hasselbaink is the main name in a shortlist of players that the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, has earmarked to move out when the transfer window opens in January. The Russian billionaire plans to offload three or four players to make way for new signings.

Chelsea's agents are hard at work finding a buyer and the prospect of Hasselbaink playing in the European Championship finals for the Netherlands, who meet Scotland in the play-offs, should make their task easier.

Hasselbaink knows he faces limited first-team time if he stays for the rest of the season and that could cost him his place in the national side. He has slipped behind Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, with Eidur Gudjohnsen also preferred to him in midweek.

That only confirms the view within Chelsea that the ageing striker with sky-high wages will leave in the New Year. While Abramovich is behind most transfers, the manager, Claudio Ranieri, will also approve of the deal. Hasselbaink will eventually have to toe the line and find a club in January or put his Dutch place in jeopardy.

The club also hope to sell the right back Mario Melchiot and left back Celestine Babayaro, who has lost out to Wayne Bridge. Like Melchiot, Babayaro is aware that Abramovich is looking for yet more full-backs.

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