Shangai Shenhua Signs Nicolas Anelka


Nicolas Anelka poses with the Shanghai Shenhua shirt after becoming the first big casualty of Andre Villas-Boas' reign. And Shenhua now hope to convince Didier Drogba to join Anelka in quitting Chelsea for China.

A Chelsea statement read, "Chelsea Football Club and Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua have agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Nicolas Anelka in the January transfer window."

The Chinese Super League club have confirmed that Anelka will join them on a two-year deal in January that is understood to be worth £175,000 per week. The dream is now to partner the Frenchman with the Drogba. With the financial muscle of businessman Zhou Jun behind them - he made his fortune from an internet company which held the China licence for the hugely popular World of Warcraft fantasy game - Shenhua have shown they can compete with anyone.

And Zhou says there is more to come. "Drogba, is a very excellent player. From the perspective of Chinese football, if these big-name players, these excellent players, are willing to come to China, we are willing to have warm negotiations and communications with them," Zhou said.

Shenhua have confirmed they are also interested in Drogba but have not revealed details of their offer as they revel in the signing of Anelka. Club director Zhou told reporters near the club's Pudong training ground, "People are aware of Anelka's Chelsea yearly salary which is around 5.8 million euros. So when he comes to China it definitely won't be below this figure. The signing of Anelka heralds a massive step for Chinese football and a growth mirroring that of the nation itself."

"It's like with the opening up of China. We needed to bring in the good stuff from foreign countries for us to learn from. The benefits Anelka brings to the club are obvious. Firstly it will definitely increase the squad's attacking capability. Secondly, the arrival of such a high level football star like Anelka in a young club like Shenhua will increase the hopes of the young people and create an example for them to follow. It will definitely increase the club's competitiveness," Zhou said.

The club's captain Yu Tao said on Twitter, "It is impossible not to be excited! Warm welcome to our new team-mate!"

Goalkeeper Wang Dalei added, "Tell Anelka he made his new team-mates  really proud!"

Shenhua have a reputation for signing ageing stars, having previously welcomed Ruben Sosa, Jorg Albertz, Carsten Jancker, Junior Baiano and Dejan Petkovic.

Source: AP, Chelsea FC

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