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By ESPN Staff

Pompey in for Anelka, says man himself

Portsmouth have offered Turkish club Fenerbahce £8.2million for Nicolas Anelka, according to the French striker.

The former Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City frontman also claims Bolton or Blackburn are interested in signing him.

Anelka is quoted today as saying: 'They (Portsmouth) are the only club to have made an offer for me and this offer amounts to 12 million euros.

'Fenerbahce would like to keep me but they understand that I want to rejoin a major European league. In Portsmouth I talked with manager Harry Redknapp, who knows me well.

'My ambition would be to join a club that regularly plays in the Champions League, but I cannot force them to recruit me.

'If I had to join a club like Portsmouth, I would go there with the aim of giving my best. This is the same for Bolton or Blackburn, whose managers have also contacted me.

'I hope things will be sorted within 10 days, myself and Fenerbahce need to know as soon as possible.'

The controversial former France striker has blamed ex-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier for jeopardising his career when he decided not to keep him with the Reds back in 2002. Anelka had been on loan at Anfield.

The 27-year-old claims he has not had any other choice but playing with what he perceives to be 'minor clubs', such as Manchester City and his current Turkish team Fenerbahce, since his release from Anfield.

'When he (Houllier) told me at the last minute that he had no intention of keeping me, he put me in a difficult situation because I had not negotiated anything with other teams,' explained Anelka, currently in Arnhem, Holland with his club for pre-season training.

'And I ended up joining a club (Manchester City) against my will.

'Gerard Houllier is responsible for what happened to me. If he had not snubbed me at Liverpool I would not have had to play with minor clubs for the past four years which I had never imagined joining.

'I would not be where I am right now, that is to say waiting to be signed by a great English club.'

Anelka is convinced his reputation as the `enfant terrible' of French football, dating back from his spell with Arsenal between 1997 and 1999, is unfair.

At every club he has joined, including Real Madrid, Paris St Germain, Liverpool and Manchester City, he has acquired a reputation of being difficult to handle.

'I was told that people from Manchester City were saying bad things about me to other clubs who are interested in me,' added Anelka.

'The clubs should instead ask the players I played with and they would see.

'It's incredible because I have never had any problems when playing in England except when I asked to leave Arsenal (in 1999).

'If great clubs don't sign me it's never because of the way I play. It's very frustrating, especially because I know I could do as well, if not better, than their strikers.'