Shenhua target Drogba after sealing Anelka deal

 

Nicolas Anelka will become the biggest signing in Chinese football history – and one of the highest-paid players in the world – when he completes his transfer to Shanghai Shenhua from Chelsea next month. The 32-year-old French international has agreed a two-year deal reportedly worth around £200,000-a-week after tax with the Super League club.

Anelka was placed on the transfer list by his current manager, Andre Villas-Boas, and exiled to Chelsea's reserves – along with Alex, the central defender also deemed surplus to requirements – after making clear his wish to depart Stamford Bridge earlier this month. A number of clubs from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and North America, most notably the new Major League Soccer franchise, Montreal Impact, had been monitoring his availability, but none has been able to match the terms on offer in Shanghai.

The former Arsenal, Bolton, Manchester City and Liverpool player is understood to have been placed in a similar salary bracket to Dario Conca, the unheralded Argentine who last summer joined Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande, by Shenhua's owner Zhu Jun, a gambling magnate once linked with a takeover of the Anfield side. "I could not believe how many zeros there were on the offer," said Conca, formerly with Fluminense, after he agreed a deal worth £10.6m a year.

The intense competition between China's club owners is likely to mean Anelka is the first of a number of high-profile stars from European leagues targeted by the Chinese Super League. Guti, the former Real Madrid player, is thought to be one player under consideration, while both Shenhua and Dalian Aerbin have admitted their interest in Anelka's team-mate Didier Drogba.

Zhu Jun, Anelka's new employer, admitted he "got in touch [with Drogba] two weeks ago, and if he wants to come, we'd definitely welcome him." Dalian's general manager, Li Ming, last week confirmed his club have made an offer of around £200,000-a-week for three years to the Ivorian international.

"Money is not the problem," he said. "Drogba is still one of the most popular soccer stars in the world, though he will soon be 34 years old. We have talked a lot with Drogba's agent and promised him a three-year contract."

Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk