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Chelsea release the £100m player

Nicolas Anelka, who is discussing image rights with Shanghai Shenhua, will decide whether to join the club on a three-year deal early next week.

Anelka will be a free agent next summer, allowing him to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club from January. Neither club has revealed details about the transfer fee but discussions are taking place between the player and Shanghai Shenhua which include the value of image rights.

Anelka has played for eight clubs with total transfer fees of £87m, a fee in excess of £13m will make the French striker a £100m player.

The French striker, 32, joined Chelsea in a £15m switch and has scored 59 goals in 185 appearances for the London club but he has fallen out of the first-team picture having scored only once in 15 games this season, with manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The Chinese Super League club, who are expected to bring former France midfielder Jean Tigana in as manager.

Media officer Ma Yue has confirmed

"There'll be news very soon. In five days, we'll definitely have news on whether it is yes or no."

"In England or other European countries, his age might be considered quite advanced. But the football level is not as high here. We don't think it's any problem for him to play for another three years."

SD

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