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Nicolas Anelka Linked To Philadelphia Union, Team Source Tells Kerith Gabriel There Is Interest

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French news outlet L'Equipe is reporting that the Philadelphia Union are among a group of teams that is competing to sign current Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka to a contract in the January international transfer window.

Philadelphia Daily news, and Philly.com, Union beat reporter Kerith Gabriel stated over Twitter that a team source confirmed that the Union had interest in Anelka, but that the striker's other offers on the table would be tough to match.

Anelka is being chased by Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, which is reportedly offering the striker nearly 10.6 million euros-a-year to come to Asia. The former Arsenal and Real Madrid player is available as a free transfer in January based upon his Bosman contractual rights (the European version of the Curt Flood free agency rights).

Union head coach Piotr Nowak has stated that he wants to bring in front line scoring help, and Anelka can do just that. 198 goals in 609 games give the striker nearly a goal every three games, something that only Sebastien Le Toux can currently boast from either the 2010 or 2011 Union teams. 

The 32-year-old former French international has seen his time limited with Chelsea since the departure of Italian Carlo Ancelotti, whose time as head coach saw Anelka rack up 102 league games and 36 goals over three season (143 games, 63 goals over that same time span). Since former Porto head coach Andre Villas-Boas was hired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, Anelka has seen his playing time diminished, playing in only 14 games overall and finding the back of the net a single time.