Chelsea Transfer News: Nicolas Anelka Takes a Step Forward Toward China

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IDecember 7, 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea reacts to missing a penalty during the Carling Cup Fourth Round match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on October 26, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

According to Sky Sports, Chelsea's out-of-favor and want-away striker Nicolas Anelka could be on the plane to China by early next week.

The Frenchman, who last week handed in his transfer request, has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. With the impressive performances of youngster Daniel Sturridge and new manager Andre Villas-Boas' plans to freshen up the squad, Anelka has seen his playing time cut short. The last nail in his Chelsea career was when Villas Boas barred him and Alex from first-team training.

Anelka has been linked with a number of clubs, with China and the United States seemingly his most preferred destinations. Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua are among favourites to land the Frenchman, and the deal could happen as early as next week.

The Chinese club released a statement earlier stating that they were positive about reaching an agreement with the French striker. The Chinese club are likely to offer Anelka a three-year contract, and it seems those terms have been agreed.

If the player and his suitors can agree on personal terms, the deal might be the first high-profile transfer in the January window. Anelka's arrival at China will also help boost the popularity of their domestic league all around the world.

Anelka, on his part, has played in most of the top European leagues and is seemingly more interested in playing outside of Europe.

West Ham have also expressed an interest in securing the services of Chelsea's French forward, but Anelka is more likely to move to China unless he fails to agree to personal terms.