Drogba and Anelka set to go first in Villas-Boas’ Chelsea clearout
With four Premier League defeats suffered already this season, the panic sirens appear to be flashing at Stamford Bridge.
Andre Villas-Boas has incorporated a fresh, more fluid attacking style since taking charge, but a preference to utilise some younger squad members and play with a sole orthodox striker has left the likes of forwards Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka feeling isolated and frustrated on the bench.
Now, if rumours are to be believed, the two men forced to play second fiddle to the misfiring Fernando Torres and the youthful Daniel Sturridge could be on their way as early as January, bowing out of contracts which expire in the summer.
Drogba is seen as the ideal big-name replacement for LA Galaxy amidst the impending departure of global superstar David Beckham.
However, although it is certain that the touted £5 million per-year wages supposedly being offered to the Ivorian will be tempting, it is thought he would prefer to stay and fight for his place in London.
That said, at 33 years of age, Drogba could decide that should his first-team opportunities remain as limited as they have been so far under Villas-Boas, that he should take the chance to link up with Robbie Keane in America, or consider reported interest from mega-rich Russian side Anzhi.
Anelka meanwhile, is wanted by struggling Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua, who currently sit 11th from 16 teams in the Chinese Super League.
The 32-year old former French international could leave for free in the summer but, with a host of clubs reportedly showing an interest, the Far East club are willing to shell out a substantial transfer fee to secure his services, along with paying the technical forward a staggering £9.2 million per year.