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Anelka to leave Chelsea for Chinese Super League

Updated: December 12, 2011, 05:44

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2011 file photo, Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka celebrates after scoring a goal against West Bromwich Albion during their English Premiership soccer match at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Shanghai Shenhua says it has reached a deal with Chelsea for Anelka to join the Chinese Super League club. The club said Monday Dec. 12, 2011, in a brief statement that the French striker would join the team when the transfer window opens in January. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

LONDON(AP) Nicolas Anelka will join Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in January in the latest chapter of the former France striker's unpredictable career.

Chelsea said Monday that the 32-year-old Anelka, who is in the final season of his contract with the English Premier League club, will move to China on a permanent transfer rather than in a loan move.

Shanghai Shenhua also confirmed the long-rumored transfer without giving further details of the players' length of contract or transfer fee.

French sports daily L'Equipe, without citing sources, said last week that Shenhua had offered the 32-year-old 10.6 million ($14.2 million) per season for two seasons.

The much-traveled Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton in January 2008. His previous clubs included Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbahce, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue said Friday that the team will probably announce this week the arrival of Jean Tigana as coach.

The former France midfielder, who won the European Championship as a player alongside Michel Platini in 1984, previously managed at Bordeaux, Lyon, Monaco, Fulham and Besiktas.

He visited Shanghai in November and inspected Shenhua's facilities, Ma said. Tigana last week contacted France's national union of managers to ask about assistants who could join him in China.


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