Nicolas Anelka could be on his way back to Anfield after Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed the striker would be allowed to leave in January, CaughtOffside have reported.
Speaking to the press after his sides much-needed 3-0 away victory at Newcastle, Villas-Boas confirmed both Anelka and Brazilian defender Alex have had transfer requests accepted.
“The conversation was fair and direct with the player. 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.”
Anelka, who is now at the age of 32, ended last season as Chelsea’s top-goalscorer in all competitions but has found himself down the pecking order under Villas-Boas sparking interest from numerous clubs around the world with Liverpool boss, Kenny Dalglish weighing up a move.
Chelsea will be looking to acquire a transfer fee for Anelka who is out of contract in the summer but it won’t be anywhere near the £15m they paid Bolton in 2008. Liverpool’s efforts may be hampered by Chelsea’s reluctance to sell to a rival club who are also competing for Champions League qualification, however, a bid of as little as £4m may tempt Blue’s owner, Roman Abramovich to let the Frenchman go.
The Red’s haven’t been shy in splashing the cash since their new American owners took over but value for money in the January transfer window is hard to come by so £4m for Anelka could prove to be a shrewd move on Dalglish’s part.
Anelka previously had a successful loan spell with Liverpool back in 2002 under Gerard Houllier but the former Red’s boss controversially decided against signing the striker on a permanent basis – a decision Anelka is still thought to be bitter about.
During the current campaign Liverpool have been over-reliant on their Uruguayan superstar Luis Suarez to come up with the goals so the acquisition of Anelka would help to relieve some pressure on their top-scorer whilst helping to strengthen the attack as Dalglish strives for Champions League qualification.
Dalglish, and Liverpool’s Director of Football, Damien Comolli have been working together to bring young promising talent to the club as they look to build a brighter future at Anfield. Although Anelka doesn’t fall under the desired bracket his valuable experience in the ‘here and now’ may be just what the Mersey-siders need in their quest for 4th place.
At the age of 32, the Frenchman still has something to offer at the highest level but as he approaches the remaining years of his career Anelka may look for one last big pay day with plenty of clubs around the globe willing to offer it him. Dalglish may be hoping otherwise by persuading him to return to Liverpool in a similar way he has done with Craig Bellamy.
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