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By ESPN Staff
Dec 1, 2007

Anxious Megson plays down Anelka exit talk

Bolton manager Gary Megson is anxious for Nicolas Anelka to remain at the Reebok Stadium but admits: 'I do not know what is around the corner.'

Anelka's sparkling form this season - he took his tally to eight goals in the victory against Manchester United last Saturday - has not gone unnoticed.

With the transfer window due to open next month, uncertainty is bound to grow, especially if the France striker keeps improving.

Next up are Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow but Megson remains calm over Anelka, who will almost certainly return to the team along with El-Hadji Diouf.

Megson said: 'There is bound to be speculation about Anelka given the quality of player he is.

'There is a lot of talk about what may or may not happen. There is not a great deal we can do about it.

'What we are trying to do is improve the squad. We would like to keep him but we do not know what is around the corner.

'It is one of these things you do have to cope with. The hard part is not just coping with January, it is six weeks before when you get loaded questions before the opening of the window.

'Anelka and Diouf are exceptional players and capable of hurting the opposition.

'To their credit they roll their sleeves up and work like everyone else does.'

Following the splendid victory against Sir Alex Ferguson's team, Megson insists he is not fazed by the challenge of facing Liverpool, even though they are unbeaten in 13 league games this term.

He said: 'I would not say games against Manchester United and Liverpool are daunting. They are games we look forward to.

'They are big games with big crowds and all the players are desperate to do well.

'Liverpool's form is exceptional. It is one of the best grounds anyone can ever play on, it is fantastic.'

Self-confessed Liverpool fan Kevin Nolan is suspended, as is Nicky Hunt. Danny Guthrie will also sit out the match as he is on loan from the opposition.

Gavin McCann faces a late check from the medical team as he needed four stitches in a head wound in the 1-1 draw against Aris in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.