EXCLUSIVE: Anelka wants to quit Chelsea
Published 23:01 15/08/11 By Darren Lewis
Nicolas Anelka wants out of Chelsea after being overlooked in favour of Fernando Torres.
The French striker, 32, joined Didier Drogba in having to make way for the £50million man as Andre Villas-Boas builds his team around the Spain international.
But while 33-year-old Drogba is negotiating a contract extension at Stamford Bridge, Anelka - who has a year left on his contract - has had enough.
Villas-Boas is understood to be aware of Anelka’s desire to leave the west London club, but Chelsea say the striker has not handed in a transfer request.
It leaves the Portuguese coach considering his options as youngster Daniel Sturridge is also understood to be keen to play regular first-team football.
Ex-Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bolton striker Anelka was a 66th-minute substitute in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Stoke, with Torres starting as the lone striker.
Initially this summer, the French forward insisted he was keen to fight to convince Villas Boas that he should play a key role in the side.
Anelka said: “I still have one more year, and I am pleased with the work I’ve done since I came to Chelsea.
“I’m still here. I want to stay on until the end of my contract in one year and after that we will see what happens.
“I have never said I wanted to leave Chelsea. Even if there’s an offer from someone else, I don’t care because I’m seeing out my contract at the club.”
But he is now believed to have had an about-turn and is ready to listen to offers.
Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton in January 2008 for £15million.
He is one of only three players to have won the Premier League with two clubs, having clinched the title as a youngster at Arsenal.
Anelka has also won the FA Cup twice with Chelsea, in 2009 and 2010, but it was his missed penalty in the 2008 Champions League Final that enabled Manchester United to triumph in Moscow.