Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that striker Nicolas Anelka is likely to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.
Anelka’s position in the Chelsea team has been under threat, and while he has impressed this season, the 32-year-old former France international is apparently keen to leave, according to his manager.
"Nico as a person is very, very happy," Villas-Boas told reporters. He belongs to Chelsea in the last year of his contract, performing. We will make our efforts for him to renew but Nico has his own decision to make and I am not sure he will be willing."
Villas-Boas was then pressed on whether Anelka had indicated a desire to leave Stamford Bridge, to which the Portuguese replied: "Yes."
Anelka has been criticized in the past a perceived negative attitude, and the nickname ‘Le Sulk’ has stuck with him since his time at Arsenal in the late 1990s.
However, the striker has appeared to turn a corner in recent seasons, notwithstanding his high-profile row with former France coach Raymond Domenech at the 2010 World Cup.
Since joining Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in 2008, Anelka has scored 51 goals in 119 appearances, and could play in Chelsea’s next match against champions Manchester United.