Wednesday 21 March 2018

Chinese takeaway: Anelka to leave Chelsea for Shanghai

Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka will leave Chelsea for Shanghai Shenhua next month on a two-year contract, according to the Chinese Super League club.

Anelka, 32, has reportedly agreed a deal worth in the region of £175,000 a week to the striker, who recently had a transfer request accepted by the Blues.

Shenhua announced on their official website that Anelka would join them when the January transfer window opens and he has also been pictured posing with the club's shirt, although his move has yet to be confirmed by Chelsea.

Anelka is in the final year of his Stamford Bridge contract and it became clear earlier this season that his three-year stay with the Blues would not be extended. He and team-mate Alex were banished from Andre Villas-Boas' first-team squad after handing in transfer requests, although both had enjoyed only very limited action under the new manager.

Anelka could link up at Shenhua with fellow Frenchman Jean Tigana, who is being earmarked to take charge of the club.

Former Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City and France star Anelka has already been welcomed by his prospective new team-mates, with captain Yu Tao writing on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter: "It's impossible not to be excited by this - a warm welcome to our new team-mate!"

Goalkeeper Wang Dalei added: "Tell Anelka he made his new team-mates really proud!"

A host of rival clubs were linked with Anelka, including West Ham and Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, but moving to China would make him arguably the biggest signing in the country's history.

He may not be for long if Shenhua or Super League rivals Dalian Aerbin succeed in their pursuit of Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.

Drogba, who has yet to agree a new deal with the Blues to replace the one that expires at the end of the season, has been offered a three-year contract worth more than £200,000 a week by Aerbin.

Anelka factfile: Blessed by brilliance but never far from controversy

1979: Born Versailles, France, March 27.

1996: September - Makes Paris St Germain debut at 17.

December - Scores twice on debut for French Under-20 team against Denmark.

1997: Joins Arsenal for £500,000, much to the outrage of PSG.

1998: Scores in 2-0 FA Cup final win against Newcastle to secure double for Arsenal but misses out on place in France World Cup squad.

1999: February 10 - Scores twice for France in 2-0 friendly win against England at Wembley.

August - Joins Real Madrid for £22m after convoluted transfer wrangle involving Lazio and Juventus.

2000: Wins Champions League with Real but after an unhappy time at the club - which included a refusal to train - he moves back to PSG for £22m. Wins Euro 2000 with France.

2001: December - Makes loan move to Liverpool.

2002: Moves to Manchester City after Liverpool decide against a permanent deal.

Misses out on place in World Cup squad.

November - Refuses a late call-up by France to face Yugoslavia in a friendly international sparking a long dispute with manager Jacques Santini.

2003: May - Finishes the season as City's top scorer with 15 league goals to his name.

2004: May - Again finishes top of City's scoring charts, with an improved league return of 17 goals in 32 matches. However, Anelka misses out on selection for Euro 2004.

2005: January - Joins Fenerbahce for £7m.

2006: August 25 - Joins Bolton in club record £8m deal.

2007: May - Scores 12 goals in 39 appearances in his first season at the Reebok Stadium.

2008: January 11 - Bolton confirm Anelka has joined Chelsea for £15m.

May 8 - Sees his penalty saved as Chelsea lose Champions League final to Manchester United courtesy of a shootout.

June - Part of France's Euro 2008 squad, but starts only one game as Les Bleus crash out after the group stage.

2009: May 24 - Nets in Chelsea's 3-2 win over Sunderland on the last day of the season to be confirmed as the Premier League's top scorer for the season with 19 goals.

May 30 - Plays in Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup final win over Everton.

2010: May 9 - Scores twice as Chelsea secure Premier League title by beating Wigan 8-0.

June 19 - Sent home from World Cup after refusing to apologise for rant at coach Raymond Domenech.

August 5 - Admits his "head was gone" during the row with Domenech - but denies swearing at him.

August 16 - French Football Federation impose an 18-game suspension on Anelka, after which the striker declares he will never represent his country again.

2011: May - Scores just six league goals as Chelsea finish the season nine points behind champions Manchester United.

December 12 - Chelsea announce they have agreed terms with Shanghai Shenhua for the sale of Anelka to the Chinese club in January's transfer window.

Press Association

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