City ready to cut losses on Anelka as Fenerbahce line up offer

Nicholas Anelka's move to Fenerbahce looked closer than ever last night after the Turkish side sent a representative to England to negotiate a £7m transfer with Manchester City for the striker.

Nicholas Anelka's move to Fenerbahce looked closer than ever last night after the Turkish side sent a representative to England to negotiate a £7m transfer with Manchester City for the striker.

Anelka, 25, was not in Manchester on Saturday to watch his side beat Crystal Palace, preferring instead to watch his former side Paris St-Germain play at home. His relationship with Kevin Keegan is now considered beyond repair and City are hopeful that there will be an official bid from Fenerbahce this week.

The Turkish side have sent their representative Hakan Bilal to speak to City with a view to signing Anelka in time to play for them in the Uefa Cup against Real Zaragoza next month. They have been given informal encouragement from City that they are ready to sell and Fenerbahce's president Aziz Yildirim has put the club's transfer budget into signing the striker.

Anelka is understood to want an agreement with Fenerbahce that would allow him to leave if they did not qualify for next year's Champions' League. Originally it was unclear whether Anelka would be prepared to move to Turkey but City are now confident that the player, who is a practising Muslim, would accept a transfer to Fenerbahce.

City want to earn back the outstanding £5m they still owe PSG for the player over the two-and-a-half years he has left on his contract. The key to the falling out between Keegan and the French striker this month was Anelka's refusal to take a fitness test before the Arsenal match in which he did not play.

City have debts of more than £62m but would be likely to make some money available for Keegan to sign a replacement for Anelka.

Elsewhere, the Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise wants to sign a new contract to stay at Anfield beyond the end of his current deal.

The 24-year-old is tied to the club until the end of next season - but wants to extend his stay after a promising start for him under his side's new manager Rafael Benitez. The Norway international has scored five goals this season and has impressed with his attacking threat on the left flank.

"I am hoping for a new contract, and if they give me an offer it won't take long for me to sign it," Riise said. "Rafael Benitez has told me to shoot, shoot, shoot. I feel the manager has confidence in me, and that is a fantastic feeling to have."

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