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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn