West Ham line up Anelka after Shanghai 'release'
West Ham are already being linked with a move for former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka amid reports the Frenchman has had his contract mutually terminated at Shanghai Shenhua.
Anelka, 33, only joined Shanghai on a free transfer from Chelsea in January, but a pay dispute over his £250,000-a-week deal has led to his lucrative two-year contract being ripped up, according to reports.
And it is claimed West Ham have already opened talks with the much-travelled striker over a return to the Premier League where he would link up with former boss Sam Allardyce.
The duo worked together at Bolton prior to Anelka's switch to Chelsea with the striker arguably playing the best football of his career, save his breakthrough year at Arsenal, at the Reebok Stadium.
That form led to his move to Chelsea in January 2008 where he would go on to spend four years - the longest stay of any of his eight clubs.
A return to England could now be in the offing after just 22 games and three goals for Shanghai with the Hammers reportedly leading the chase as they eye a Europa League spot this season.
That's the aim for Hammers captain Kevin Nolan after his side's impressive 1-0 win at former club Newcastle on Sunday.
"What we're trying to do at West Ham is what we tried to do at Newcastle," said Nolan who refused to celebrate his first-half winner.
"When we came up it was about getting them back to where they belonged and then eventually into Europe. That's what I feel that West Ham should do with the support we've got and the backing from the boardroom."
That "backing" could now be tested as Allardyce eyes a reunion with Anelka, who would be joining his SIXTH Premier League club were he to join the Hammers.