I never said I wanted to leave Chelsea – Anelka
LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka is determined to stay at the Premier League club to see out the final year of his contract, dismissing suggestions he was set to leave, reports said Thursday.
The former French international had widely been expected to be offloaded by Chelsea this summer as part of a clear-out to enable the rebuilding process under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.
However Anelka, 32, told the Daily Telegraph he wants to stay with the Londoners for the remaining 12 months of his contract and has no plans to leave.
“I never said I wanted to leave Chelsea,” Anelka was quoted as saying. “Even if there’s an offer from someone else, I don’t care because I am seeing out my contract at Chelsea, one more year.
“I said in the beginning when I signed that I wanted to stay until I finished my contract. I still have one more year and I’m happy.”
Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton in January 2008 and is a popular member of the dressing room at Stamford Bridge.
However he has struggled to find a place in the starting line-up since the arrival of Fernando Torres in January, and has rarely been picked in his favourite position as centre-forward.
But Anelka said he was ready to adapt to any formation Villas-Boas opted for.
“I played wide last season, I don’t mind playing wide, on the left or the right, through the middle,” he said.
“I’ve played through the middle since I started playing so, of course, I will be better through the middle. But I can adapt for the team.”
Chelsea are currently on a pre-season tour of Asia.