Lazio only narrowly failed to land a deal to buy the Frenchman from Arsenal last summer, pulling out of transfer talks because of the financial demands of both the north London club and Anelka's advisers.
Anelka's subsequent pounds 23m move to Real has proved disastrous and he has been hampered by injury. Anelka, who has not scored for the club, complained to the Spanish papers this week that he does not like the team's system of play or their public training sessions. Team doctors claim he is suffering from stress.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Marc Roger, Anelka's agent, phoned the Lazio president, Sergio Cragnotti, this week to say that Real would be willing to release the centre-forward on loan until 30 June for pounds 1.5m.
However, the idea has met with resistance from the Lazio coach, Sven Goran Eriksson. Though keen to recruit the Frenchman last summer, Eriksson fears that Anelka's arrival now might upset his squad both on and off the pitch.
Walter Baseggio, the Anderlecht midfielder, may soon be moving to Tottenham Hotspur for around pounds 5m. Baseggio, a recent recruit to the Belgian national team, has also attracted the interest of Bologna, Valencia and Newcastle United.
The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Espen Baardsen wants to leave White Hart Lane because Ian Walker is currently the club's No 1 choice. Baardsen, 21, has been on the substitutes' bench all season and has not started a Premiership game for almost a year. He told ClubCall he was unhappy at his limited opportunities and said he was ready to move to a club that could offer him the chance of regular first-team football.
Baardsen was also reported as saying: "Ian is in discussions with the club, therefore I want to be sold or loaned out to another club, but it's not always that easy. I think I will be stuck on the bench until the end of the season."
The Derby County manager, Jim Smith, has revealed his interest in signing the Celtic defender Craig Burley. "It is fair to say that Burley is one of a number of players we have been looking at," Smith said.
He has money to spend and on Thursday reduced his wage bill when the former Italian international striker Francesco Baiano returned home to join the Serie B club Ternana on a free transfer. Derby have also been linked with the Rangers defender Colin Hendry.
The Southampton manager, Dave Jones, is hoping to meet Matt Le Tissier to discuss reports that he wishes to go on loan to secure first-team football. "I have not spoken to the lad, and until I do find out what his feelings are, and why he has said that, I will have nothing to say," Jones commented.
England's European Under-21 Championship play-off with Yugoslavia, initially rescheduled as a one-off game for tomorrow in Luxembourg but postponed at three days' notice, may not take place until February. The England head coach, Howard Wilkinson, fears that fixture congestion leaves no alternative dates and 22 February, the night before the full friendly with Argentina, may be the next available slot, just three months before the European Under-21 finals are staged. Uefa, the game's European governing body, yesterday confirmed that no date or venue will be considered until next week at the earliest, precluding any chance of playing the qualifier on Tuesday night, as the Yugoslavs had hoped.Reuse content