|After luring Nicolas Anelka (R) to the club, Shenhua are now after his team-mate Didier Drogba (L) [GALLO/GETTY]
Nicolas Anelka will join Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in January in the latest chapter of the former France striker's unpredictable career.
Shanghai Shenhua have reached an agreement with Anelka on a two-year deal, the Chinese Super League soccer side said on Monday.
Chelsea said that the 32-year-old Anelka, who is in the final season of his contract with the English Premier League club, will move to China on a permanent transfer rather than in a loan move.
Shanghai Shenhua confirmed the long-rumoured transfer without giving further details of the players' length of contract or transfer fee.
French sports daily L'Equipe, without citing sources, said last week that Shenhua had offered the 32-year-old $14.2 million per season for two seasons.
The much-travelled Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton in January 2008. His previous clubs included Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbahce, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue said on Friday that the team will probably announce this week the arrival of Jean Tigana as coach.
The former France midfielder, who won the European Championship as a player alongside Michel Platini in 1984, previously managed at Bordeaux, Lyon, Monaco, Fulham and Besiktas.
He visited Shanghai in November and inspected Shenhua's facilities, Ma said. Tigana last week contacted France's national union of managers to ask about assistants who could join him in China.
Shenhau are determined to win the league and have signed Brazilian forwards Cleo and Muriqui, as well as being linked with a number of other high-profile players, including Anelka's Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.