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Jul, 4, 2013

West Brom step up Anelka chase

Nicolas Anelka has posed with a West Bromwich Albion shirt at the club's training ground ahead of a proposed move back to England.

Italy is the latest destination for French forward Nicolas Anelka, after he completed a move to Juventus
Former Chelsea striker Anelka is a free agent.

- Free agents left in limbo

Former Arsenal and Liverpool striker Anelka underwent a medical at the Hawthorns on Thursday, as he looks to revive a Premier League career that appeared to end when he left Chelsea for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2012.

ESPN sources close to the player confirmed earlier on Thursday that the 34-year-old was considering linking up again with Steve Clarke, his former coach at Stamford Bridge.

Albion are hoping to persuade the striker to sign a one-year deal as the replacement for Romelu Lukaku, but much will hinge upon whether Anelka can reach an agreement over his personal terms.

Anelka is a free agent after leaving Juventus at the end of last season, following a year in China with Shanghai Shenhua and the Baggies are hopeful he will have a medical and become their first signing of the summer.

With Lukaku returning to Stamford Bridge after a successful season-long loan at Albion and Peter Odemwingie set to move on, Albion are keen to strengthen their attacking options.

They have also been linked with PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen and Wigan Athletic's Arouna Kone, but are attracted by the prospect of a one-year deal which will not involve a heavy transfer outlay.

Anelka, who also played for Manchester City and Bolton in the Premier League turned 34 in March and Clarke hopes to persuade him to make Albion his sixth top-flight English club.

Albion also retain an interest in another former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou, but face competition from West Ham United, who have reignited their interest in signing the 27-year-old Lille forward.

It is understood that Kalou, who left Chelsea on a free transfer 12 months ago, has a release clause in his contract which is believed to be as low as £3 million, although his £3 million-a-year salary in France is higher than the top earners at the Hawthorns and could prove a stumbling block.

The Ivory Coast international scored 14 goals in 28 league appearances last season but he has admitted that he would welcome the chance to return to the Premier League.

 

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