Monaco: Anelka decision expected today

Monaco claim they expect Manchester City striker Nicolas Anelka to decide today whether he will join them.

Monaco claim they expect Manchester City striker Nicolas Anelka to decide today whether he will join them.

Anelka and Barcelona’s Javier Saviola have been earmarked by the Principality club to replace the departed Fernando Morientes who has returned to Real Madrid after a year on loan with Didier Deschamps’ side.

City would be reluctant sellers but it is believed they would accept a big fee for the 25-year-old.

“We are waiting for Anelka and Saviola’s decisions today,” a club spokesman said.

“We have been conducting parallel negotiations with both players for a while and we should know more this afternoon.”

Monaco coach Deschamps has indicated a preference for Anelka although Saviola’s 55 goals in three seasons with Barcelona prove his potential worth as a goalscoring asset for the club who reached last season’s Champions League final.

After Saturday’s Ligue 1 match against Istres, Monaco president Michel Pastor also hinted a deal for one of the two players would be struck this week.

“Things are progressing, we can sign either Saviola or Anelka, we are going see with Manchester City,” Pastor said following Monaco’s 2-1 victory.

Anelka could however be a more likely option than Saviola as the club’s director of sport Henri Biancheri on Tuesday evening ruled out a loan move for the Argentinian unless Barcelona pay some of his wages.

“We are studying the option to take Saviola but there are also other players like Nicolas Anelka,” Biancheri said.

“We cannot pay his (Saviola’s) full wage because as everyone knows Monaco has serious economic problems.

“Last season Fernando Morientes was loaned to us practically free because Real Madrid paid his salary.

“Madrid were able to re-evaluate the player who was able to reclaim his international status and win a return to Madrid.

“The case of Saviola is similar but he will have to find an agreement with Barcelona.”

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