Allardyce wants Anelka at Upton Park.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has said he is keen on re-signing Shanghai Shenhua striker Nicolas Anelka.
Allardyce, 58, bought the player for Bolton for a then-club record fee in 2006 and could move to work with the 33-year-old again in January.
“It could interest me, of course it could,” he said. “It would be of interest if that is a possibility financially and he wanted to come.
“I have had no conversations with Nicolas’s agent at this time.”
“He had a girlfriend, who is now his wife, and his family and I think that has matured him – I think Nicolas has still got his family here in London, I don’t think they moved out to China,” Allardyce said.
“He never was like that in his entire time I had him,” he replied. “He was disappointed I left, when he came and played for me I had him at a very, very good time – probably at the height of his career, I would think, because he had matured into a dedicated professional.
“I think he has always been dedicated but he got sidetracked by certain situations through his younger days but he learnt from that, his experience across Europe.”
Well, well, well. Wouldn’t this be a turn out for the books?
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has revealed he is interested in bringing Nicolas “Le Sulk” Anelka back to the Premier League.
The 33-year-old Frenchman left Chelsea to join Shanghai Shenhua last January and is reportedly on a salary of around £9m a year in China.
No doubt the former Arsenal, PSG and Real Madrid striker would have to take a considerably pay cut to move to Upton Park but perhaps Anelka fancies one last shot at the Premier League.
Even since he moved East, there have been rumours that the speedy forward isn’t entirely settled at Shanghai, even after his former Chelsea comrade and strike-partner Didier Drogba arrived in the summer, with managerial changes and boardroom unrest leading to an unsettled environment at the SuperLeague club.
Anelka may not have quite lived up to his early billing when at Arsenal, but the former France international has never been short of suitors and West Ham would be his tenth senior club (including loans) if he does reunite with Big Sam.
Allardyce is renowned for bringing the best out of difficult personalties and if Anelka did join his revolution in East London, you’d be a fool to bet against him bagging a few goals.
Andy Carroll looks likely to return to Liverpool in January and Anelka could be a perfect, if n0t like-for-like, replacement for the Englishman.
Tickets still available for top football matches – Newcastle United v Man City tickets