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Dec 12, 2011

Shanghai land Chelsea striker Anelka

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has agreed a two-year contract with Shanghai Shenhua and will join the Chinese Super League club in January.

• Anelka agrees terms for China move

Anelka, who recently handed in a transfer request at Stamford Bridge, will join Shenhua when the transfer window opens after agreeing a deal worth a reported £175,000 a week.

Chelsea have confirmed the move and Anelka, who handed in a transfer request at Stamford Bridge last week, has been pictured on the Shenhua website wearing the club's shirt.

Former Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City and France star Anelka has already been welcomed by his new team-mates, with Shenhua captain Yu Tao writing on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter: "It's impossible not to be excited by this - a warm welcome to our new team-mate!''

Goalkeeper Wang Dalei added: "Tell Anelka he made his new team-mates really proud!''

A host of rival clubs were linked with Anelka, including West Ham and Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, but moving to China will make him arguably the biggest signing in the country's history.

He could link up at Shenhua with fellow Frenchman Jean Tigana, who is being earmarked to take charge of the club.

Anelka, 32, is in the final year of his Stamford Bridge contract and it became clear earlier this season that his three-year stay with the Blues would not be extended.

Since joining Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in January 2008, Anelka has scored 59 goals in 185 games.

Meanwhile, Shenhua's Super League rivals Dalian Aerbin are lining up a bid for Anelka's Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.

The Ivory Coast international, who has yet to agree a new deal with the Blues to replace the one that expires at the end of the season, has been offered a three-year contract worth more than £200,000 a week by Aerbin.

General manager Li Ming told Chinese media last week: "Money is not the problem. Drogba is still one of the most popular soccer stars in the world, though he will be 34 years old. We have talked a lot with Drogba's agent and promised to provide him with a three-year contract.''

Aerbin were only formed in 2009 and have just been promoted to China's top division.

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