Both of Shanghai Shenhua‘s star signings may be on their way out of the door as the financially troubled club continues its slow but apparently inevitable fall from grace. Former French international and Shenhua striker and assistant manager Nicolas Anelka is believed to have cancelled his contract with the club.
Chinese paper the Shenzhen Business Daily spoke with sources at the club who said that Anelka is expected to leave the club shortly, after cancelling his contract. The striker is expected to join English Premier League team Queens Park Rangers. Other Chinese outlets are also reporting that Anelka is so keen to leave Shenhua, which ended the Super League season languishing mid-table, a full 20 points behind winners Guangzhou GAC, that he will forsake the 43.5 million yuan left on his contract.
Insiders report that that Shenhua chairman Zhu Jun threatened, in a recent shareholder meeting, to ditch Anelka, Didier Drogba, and coach Sergio Batista, and move the club to another city.
Drogba, who earlier this year unsuccessfully petitioned FIFA to be allowed an off-season loan to anyone that would have him, is also expected to leave the club as soon as he is able.
As fans have been saying for months (and months, and months), Shenhua would be better off using its financial weight to sign young talent and flesh out its roster; rather than throwing tens of millions of yuan at dramatic international signings (from the notoriously financially bloated English Premier League) that resulted in the club finishing one point better off than it did last season.