Chelsea to beat Manchester City and Manchester United for Anelka

For months we’ve been hearing that Nicolas Anleka wants out of Bolton. The noises were there since before Sam Allardyce left, and they’ve continued, as Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have all been linked with the reformed Frenchman.

He was widely tipped to move last summer but with the top four seemingly uninterested to meet his wage demands, Anelka decided to stay put and chance it again with Bolton. A few months later and with Bolton in the middle of a relegation scrap, Anelka has apparently given the green light and a move now seems very much on.

However, it’s not going to be Manchester City – Sven Goran Eriksson has been looking for a striker since before last summer ended – nor is it going to be Manchester United – Fergie will either give Saha more time or go for someone else, if at all – but Avram Grant’s injury-struck and soon to be striker-less thanks to the ANC Chelsea.

That Chelsea are willing to pay 10m for Anelka – a pricetag that puts them ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United – is both an indication of Chelsea’s financial clout and a measure of their need. A striker of Anelka’s experience and ability will be welcome at Stamford Bridge, and the fact that he is more suited to the Premier League so far than any other Chelsea striker (bar Drogba) will have swayed the Chelsea management as well.

What of Manchester City? They have Nery Castillo coming in, and there are rumours that Eriksson will go on another spending spree to bolster Manchester City’s push for a Champions League spot (although Eriksson is sensible enough to know that Liverpool will be tough to overtake and his priority will be to build for the future).

Manchester United have been linked with Berbatov AND Defoe, for various reasons, although at this point the most likely scenario is that Angulo will come in at the end of the season and Manchester United will then hopefully get him in shape to support Rooney / Tevez next season.

Chelsea are hoping to have Anelka on board for the 3rd round FA Cup matches this weekend. Anelka will, at the very least, be a consistent source of goals for Chelsea and that will leave Grant with a central defender to chase.