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Thursday, January 3, 2008
Megson unaware of Chelsea approach for Anelka

Bolton manager Gary Megson has refuted claims that Nicolas Anelka is poised to move to Chelsea.

The 11-goal striker was quoted by French newspaper L'Equipe as saying there has been dialogue between the two clubs with the transfer window now open.

But Megson stated: 'In terms of Chelsea making contact I am not aware of that or any other club making contact.

'I am aware of the speculation and have seen the article. But Nic did say if nothing happens he is happy at Bolton.

'It is something and nothing. We will just keep going and try to deal with the speculation that surrounds him.'

Megson was delighted the way Anelka applied himself in the 1-0 victory against Derby, even though he failed to add to his tally.

'I was really pleased with Nic, ' said the Bolton boss. 'He has not scored but he worked really hard for us.

'With five minutes to go he was chasing a ball that he lost himself.'

Anelka signed a new four-year contract earlier this season but his superb form this campaign has seen him heavily linked to a move to a bigger club.

'The chairmen (of Bolton and Chelsea) are discussing it,' Anelka told L'Equipe. 'I really hope it happens - and especially that I am eligible to play in the Champions League.

'But until the contract is signed and I am presented to the press in my new shirt, nothing is done.'

The former Arsenal striker has also been linked with a return to Manchester City where he played from 2002-05.

And the 28-year-old insists that would not be a step backwards. 'I want to go to a bigger club and that's what City have become under a manager such as (Sven-Goran) Eriksson, who I was ready to join in 1999 at Lazio,' added Anelka.

'Staying at Bolton, where I am very happy, wouldn't be a punishment either.'

Meanwhile, Megson has condemned the supporters who turned on Kevin Nolan last night.

The club captain was jeered when he was substituted by Stelios Giannakopoulos and the Greece winger went on to score a stoppage-time winner against Derby.

Megson revealed Nolan played through the pain barrier to help his side's drive to reach Premier League safety.

'We were all disappointed at what happened,' said the Bolton boss. 'You do not like to hear that sort of thing.

'We can all understand supporters having their own thoughts but the club is really galvanised.

'Everyone is together and no one in the dressing room was pleased with what went on. It really does not help at all.

'But it was the reaction of only a few fans, not the majority. Most of the people who come and watch football here are very intelligent.

'Those people who chose to let their feelings known might have thought a bit differently had they realised Kevin was playing with 11 stitches in his head and an injection in his ribs. He wanted to get out there.'

Nolan has graduated to the captaincy from the academy ranks and, according to Megson, no-one should doubt his commitment to Bolton.

He said: 'People should remember he has scored three goals in a short space of time.

'No other player here cares more about Bolton than Kevin Nolan. He wears his heart on his sleeve.

'He is the first name on the team sheet and will continue to be so.

'Kevin was upset but only because it was 0-0 and we were not playing particularly well.

'But he was swinging all over my neck when Stelios scored. That just shows you what he is like.'

Megson has to make one enforced change for the FA Cup tie against Sheffield United on Saturday as Kevin Davies is suspended.

However, full-back Nicky Hunt will come into contention after recovering from a bruised foot.

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