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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Anelka completes £15m move to Chelsea

Chelsea have completed the £15million signing of Nicolas Anelka from Bolton.

The London club had an earlier bid for the 28-year-old Frenchman rejected but returned with an increased offer.

Blues boss Avram Grant said after Chelsea's Carling Cup semi-final first leg win over Everton on Tuesday that he hoped to clinch a deal in time for Saturday's Premier League clash with Tottenham.

Chelsea are without Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, who are away at the African Cup of Nations, while Andriy Shevchenko has an ankle injury.

On Thursday Anelka's advisor Doug Pingisi said the striker was keen on a move to Chelsea.

It is believed a bid in the region of £11million was rejected on Monday.

'He really wants to go to Chelsea,' Pingisi said in French daily L'Equipe.

'Nicolas is calm. He hopes that everything will be finalised this week.

'He has been waiting for such an opportunity for years. He appreciates the fact that he is at the top of the list of players wanted by Chelsea at the moment.

'For Nico, it is very important he finds a club that will allow him to express himself at the highest level.

'Moreover, this club is still involved in every competition, particularly the Champions League.'

Anelka's first English club was Chelsea's rivals Arsenal, who he signed for in 1997 from Paris St Germain for £500,000.

After moving to Real Madrid and then back to Paris St Germain, he returned to England in 2001, signing on loan at Liverpool. The Anfield side decided not to sign him permanently and he moved to Manchester City a year later. In 2005 he joined Fenerbache and 12 months later joined Bolton in a club record £8 million deal.