LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea tackles Andre Schurrle of Bayer Leverkusen during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Chelsea and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge on September 13, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
This season is probably Nicolas Anelka's last at Stamford Bridge, according to Andre Villas-Boas. Anelka, 32, is in the final year of a contract he signed in 2010, and had previously indicated that he wasn't sure what he'd be doing when said contract expired. Now, apparently, he's come to a decision.
It might not be the player's expectancy to renew. Nico as a person is very, very happy. He belongs to Chelsea in the last year of his contract, performing. We will make our efforts for him to renew but Nico has his own decision to make and I am not sure he will be willing.
[Has Anelka indicated that he'd like to leave?] Yes.
-Andre Villas-Boas. Source: ESPN Soccernet.
This news isn't really that big a deal, mostly because it was pretty much everyone's expectation that Anelka wouldn't be returning. He's getting to the age where he should be looking at stepping down from the top level anyway, and Chelsea will be starting to phase the 30+ players out of the lineup over the next few years. Still, it's nice to have confirmation of what everyone knows, eh? I won't be thrilled to see him depart the club, of course - he's had some very nice years for us since his transfer from Bolton Wanderers - and knowing it's going to be his last season with us means I'll do my best to appreciate him just a little bit more.