Chelsea to continue pursuit of striker Anelka

January 8, 2008

Chelsea will continue their bid to land Nicolas Anelka on Tuesday after having a £12 million bid rejected by Bolton.

Bolton Wanderers rebuffed Chelsea's initial offer but negotiations are set to continue as the Blues look to strengthen their attacking options.

Chelsea will go into their Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Everton on Tuesday night with one fit striker in the form of Claudio Pizarro.

Anelka has taken Chelsea's eye after scoring 11 goals even though the former Arsenal striker signed a new four-year contract earlier this season.

Bolton manager Gary Megson had already refuted suggestions that a deal was imminent but a brief statement on Chelsea's official website, www.chelseafc.com, read: 'We can confirm we have made an official offer for the transfer of Nicolas Anelka, which is being discussed with Bolton Wanderers.'

Chelsea are desperate to boost their firepower with Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou away on international duty with the Ivory Coast, along with Ghana's Michael Essien and Nigerian Mikel John Obi.

Mikel is available for on Tuesday night's Carling Cup showdown and although Drogba admits he is still thinking about his future at Stamford Bridge, England midfielder Joe Cole says he never had any such doubts following the departure of previous coach Jose Mourinho in September.

Cole said: 'I'm committed to Chelsea and love the club. I'll stay here as long as they want me. The club is more than the manager. The club's the club. That's got to be on top of the pile, above the players and the managers. It's a club I've loved.

'The manager's a strong guy and not interested in listening to too many opinions, like other managers. It'd be nice to kick-start the new regime with the first trophy on board. It's about winning trophies at the end of the season. Last season was successful. We were in four competitions and we won two of the them.

'We didn't win the two major ones, but we were beaten in one of them on penalties in the semi-final. If we'd got to the Champions League final, it would have been the best season in the club's history. It's a work in progress.

'The club gets judged on what we win. If we just win the Carling Cup, we'll be happy we've won it but unhappy that we didn't win the others.

'Six months ago, the new manager came in. I'm still getting asked questions about the old manager. He's a hard manager who tells you when things aren't going well, but puts his arm around you if he needs to. All good managers do that. You have to know your players personally, and he does that.

'He likes the psychological side of the game. He has a softer approach to his players. But when he needs to tell you you're not doing the business, you get told.

'We've all experienced that already. But the place is a happy place at the moment. We were disappointed to only take 10 points out of 12 over Christmas because we felt we were unlucky against Villa. But we're winning games, and everyone's happy.'