Chelsea agree deal to keep Anelka until 2013

Chelsea are to follow their decision to release both Joe Cole and Michael Ballack by announcing that they have agreed a two-year contract extension with striker Nicolas Anelka.

At 31 Anelka is three years older than Cole, but the Frenchman has become a far more important player for Chelsea, having started 41 games in the club's Double-winning season compared to Cole's total of 22 starts. Anelka's current deal runs out in a year's time but they have moved to tie him to the club until 2013 on a contract worth around £80,000 a week. The two sides have reached agreement and an announcement of the new deal is expected soon.

After a slow start Anelka has gradually become a key figure at Chelsea, scoring 43 goals in 101 starts since moving to Stamford Bridge from Bolton for £15m in January 2008.

Anelka's new deal follows last week's announcement that Michael Essien had agreed a two-year contract extension, even though he had three years left to run on his existing £80,000-a-week deal. Essien, 27, is considered a key player by Chelsea, even though he has been sidelined with knee injuries for long periods in the last two years. He is currently recovering at the club's Cobham training ground from the knee injury which ruled him out of Ghana's squad for the World Cup.

The treatment of Essien and Anelka is in sharp contrast to the ruthless way Chelsea have dispensed with the services of Cole and Ballack after failing to agree terms on new contracts, and demonstrates a renewed desire to reduce the club's £167m wage bill. Chelsea have also allowed Juliano Belletti to leave, and are negotiating the transfer for a nominal fee of high-earning midfielder Deco to Brazilian side Fluminese. The release of those four players has trimmed around £20m from the wage bill, allowing Chelsea to sign new players this summer while still keeping salaries in check.

Cole promised yesterday that his status as an unattached player will not affect his focus on England's World Cup challenge and said his future will not be decided until after the World Cup. "Chelsea is not a distraction," he said. "I am fully focussed on winning the World Cup with England. My agent is doing it. I don't want to be told what is happening until after the World Cup."

The news of Chelsea's decision came as a shock to Ballack, who is currently on holiday in Miami. His agent Michael Becker said: "He was completely surprised. He has not spoken to Chelsea for three months."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform