Chelsea manager Avram Grant is hoping to complete the signing of Nicolas Anelka by the weekend, despite seeing an initial bid rejected by Bolton this week.
Bolton turned down what is believed to be a £12m bid for the 28-year-old striker but Grant admitted he still wants to sign Anelka in time for Saturday’s game with Tottenham.
“We have two strikers in the African Nations Cup, Sheva [Andriy Shevchenko] started to be very good but got injured.
“We confirmed that we have interest in Anelka. We wanted him today. I hope it will be for Saturday. Because we are without three strikers it’s important to do the deals quickly but it’s not my area and I’m not a negotiator.”
Chelsea are without Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, who are away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, while Andrii Shevchenko who returned to the side before Christmas, has suffered an ankle injury.
For Tuesday’s Carling Cup semi-final Grant was forced to field Claudio Pizzaro, his only fit striker.
Anelka, who has scored 11 goals in 22 games this season, has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge despite signing a new four-year deal with Bolton last August.
Anelka joined Bolton in 2006 from Turkish club Fenerbahce for a club record £8m.
He has also played for Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League and won the Champions League while at Real Madrid.