I'd been a little curious as to why we hadn't been hearing anything about Nicolas Anelka departing Chelsea this summer. He is, after all, 32 years old and coming into the final year of his original deal with the club, whom he joined in the winter of 2008. Considering the noise Danny Sturridge made last year with Bolton, Anelka is a natural fit to depart the club - no matter if you still think highly of him now, he's obviously not part of Chelsea's future in the same way that he would be if he were seven years younger.
Trust the Guardian to finally come up with something, eh?
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.
-Nicolas Anelka. Source: Guardian.
If you read the full piece, it's pretty clear that Anelka intends to leave on a Bosman free transfer next summer, which is pretty annoying for a number of reasons. First of all, Chelsea don't get paid in that situation, which is something we should probably be avoiding in a world where every bit of money needs to be saved in order to pay Fernando Torres not to score goals. Secondly, having Anelka locked onto the roster rather messes everything else up - the Blues can't move their most obviously movable piece, they're going to have to get a little creative.
That, or they can just try to force Anelka out. I'm sure that Chelsea could try to impose a move on him if they really wanted to. Nico's position would just make a little more difficult for them if he was determined to say, since there's that whole 'personal terms' business that needs to be worked out when teams agree to a deal. If you'll allow me to indulge in rampant speculation, I'd have to guess that Anelka's been asked about the possibility moving (it makes too much sense to the team not to be looking into this), and this is his response.
This isn't me saying I want Anelka to go. I'm kind of ambivalent about it. I'm simply acknowledging that it makes a certain amount of sense to sell him on this summer, and being apparently denied that option is a little bit annoying. All in all, I'm not sure how much his statements matter to us in the overall scheme of things, but at the very least they're food for some considerable thought.