I was dropped after refusing to sign deal, claims axed Hibs keeper Ma-Kalambay

YVES MA-KALAMBAY fired a parting shot at Hibs today, claiming that he was dropped from the first team because he refused to sign a new contract.

The goalkeeper was released at the end of the season, having lost his place in the starting line-up to Graham Stack and Graeme Smith.

Manager John Hughes had lost faith in the Belgian after a number of high-profile blunders but the 24-year-old insisted that his performances had little to do with his omission from the side. Ma-Kalambay said: "The fact that I didn't play last season had nothing to do with my qualities. I started the season as No.1.

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"But then I went to the president, to say that I wouldn't sign a new deal. That I wanted to find a new challenge with another team. From that moment, I lost my place in the team. I even wasn't on the bench any more. Even though before I came to Hibs, they had the worst defence in the SPL. After my first season, they had the best. I stopped the most shots of all goalkeepers, statistics proved."

The Belgian – who could be set to switch his international allegiances to Congo in tribute to his father who died recently – is currently on the lookout for a new club.

He says that he has had offers from across Europe and that former club Chelsea are also keeping an eye on him but insists that he won't be rushed into making a decision.

"I'm not sure yet where I will go. I've received some offers from clubs in England and France and from a big Spanish club, from the Spanish top three, that was a big surprise to me. But I want to play for a club where I'm No.1. Everybody still sees me as the young talented goalkeeper from Chelsea. But now I'm 24, I've got the experience from the games with Hibs.

"I'm at an important point in my career. I know for example that people at Chelsea are still following me. Who knows... if one day Petr Cech leaves."

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