Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between FC Copenhagen and Chelsea at Parken Stadium on February 22, 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shanghai Shenhua said yesterday that French striker Nicolas Anelka could be on his way to China and that it was planning to make an official announcement within a week.
Ma Yue, assistant spokesman for Shenhua, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the club had held "deep talks" with Anelka's brother, who is also his agent, and that negotiations were going well.
He said the club had not yet signed a contract with the player but was "very close."
Zhu Jun, the chief investor of the club, had posted a note on his microblog saying he would make an announcement on Tuesday.
"It will be a three-year contract and will involve both football and commercial cooperation," Ma said.
Ma, however, did not reveal any financial terms of the contract.
"We started to talk about every detail from the first minute of the negotiations," Zhu told a Shanghai sports channel yesterday.
"The whole contract is made up of details. It's comprehensive and complicated, involving the player's image and the commercial cooperation."
The high-profile owner of the club even posted a picture of a bag on his microblog and encouraged local fans to guess the bag's owner.
"One of the winners will have his picture taken with the owner of the bag," Zhu wrote.
He said "football in China did not lack money, nor people, but confidence and hope."
Anelka scored 59 times in his 185 appearances with Chelsea. The French striker said recently that he knew where he would be playing in January even though he did not reveal the name of the club.
Shenhua will also have a new coach in Jean Amadou Tigana, also from France.
Zhu said he expected Tigana to join the team in two weeks.
"Tigana should be in the city by the middle of this month," Zhu said, adding: "He had already made a one-year coaching plan for the team."