West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed his interest in signing wantaway Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka.
Anelka is set to leave Stamford Bridge after having a transfer request accepted by Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas.
The Frenchman is thought to have agreed a move to Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua and will quit West London when the transfer window reopens in January.
However, Allardyce, who worked with Anelka at Bolton, admits he is keeping tabs on the striker's situation, although he concedes he would only move for the 32-year-old on a free transfer in the summer rather than next month.
"If Nicolas is available, I'd be massively interested," Allardyce told The Sun.
"I've not contacted Chelsea and am just looking at the situation with January looming.
"It would be an end-of-season pursuit rather than next month.
"We need to get into the Premier League - and then we'd have a better chance of signing someone of Nicolas' quality."