Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed that Nicolas Anelka and Alex have handed in transfer requests. This news does not come as a shock as both players have been heavily linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge.
Villas-Boas has granted their wishes but on the grounds that they find a club that will be putting a good offer on the table.
Villas-Boas spoke after his team’s 3-0 win over the Magpies and said the players would be allowed to leave during this forthcoming January transfer period.
“The conversation was fair and direct with the players,” Villas-Boas said.
“The transfer requests were accepted but it doesn’t mean it will happen and if it doesn’t happen they will return to full training.”
The two players were not in the squad for Saturday’s win and the Chelsea manager added they were no longer training with the first-team squad.
Anelka, 32, was signed by Avram Grant back in January 2008 for £15m. If the Frenchman does leave it will be his 9th club in his playing career. The 32-year-old has been linked with moves to Italy, America, Russia and China.
Alex, 29, was signed by Chelsea in 2004 on the recommendation of Piet de Visser, but due to difficulties in attaining a work permit, Alex would be loaned out to Dutch club PSV. In 2007 the Brazilian finally made the switch to Chelsea. He has been linked with a move to Juventus.
Writing on his Twitter page, Anelka wrote: “The club, which is going through a difficult time, has decided to play with the players of Chelsea’s future and, because I am a big professional, I accept this decision. ”
He then added Troussier in his twitter comments which can only be referring to Phillippe Troussier who back in February signed a contract with Chinese club Shenzhen Ruby F.C. Anelka has been linked with a surprising move to China which does now look a tad more serious than first thought of. Don’t be surprised if Anelka does actually head to China.