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The Frenchman is on the transfer list by request after finding first-team chances limited, but outspoken manager says a move would only be possible at end of the season

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has declared his interest in Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka.

The Frenchman has been transfer listed after finding first-team chances limited at Stamford Bridge, with a host of clubs thought to be interested in the 32-year-old, and now Championship club West Ham have thrown their hat into the ring for his signature.

"If Nicolas is available, I'd be massively interested. I've not contacted Chelsea and am just looking at the situation with January looming,” Allardyce told The Sun.

Acknowledging the difficulty of signing Anelka in January, the Hammers manager has suggested the priority lies in gaining Premier League promotion first and bringing him in in the summer.

"It would be an end-of-season pursuit rather than next month," Allardyce said.

"We need to get into the Premier League — and then we'd have a better chance of signing someone of Nicolas' quality."

However, Anelka is believed to be on the verge of signing a contract for a move to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua and has also held talks with MLS team Montreal Impact.

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