The 32-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer, and the west London outfit are said to be looking to offload the forward’s £100,000-a-week salary from their wage bill, as they intend to sign a striker in January.
Anelka is rumoured to have a clause in his contract allowing the club to extend his deal by a further year if they so wish.
However, with no deal yet on the table, it seems they have opted against the extension, leaving Anelka free to leave the club at the end of the season, to the Frenchman’s disappointment.
“I love playing here," he told The Times. "Chelsea has been the best part of my career and it’s been great playing and winning with terrific guys like Didier Drogba, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda.
“I was hoping to win another league title this season with Chelsea, but now apparently it is not to be.”
Interest in the Chelsea forward is said to be high, with China Super League side Shanghai Shenhua reported to have already tabled an offer of around £5 million (€5.8m) a year.
Italian giants AC Milan and big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are also rumoured to be tracking the former Real Madrid man, along with a host of MLS clubs.