Fergie reveals Anelka bids

United boss reveals fondness for Frenchman

By Graeme Bailey.   Last Updated: 23/11/07 10:48pm

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Anelka: Failed bids

Anelka: Failed bids

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Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he has tried to sign Nicolas Anelka 'several times'.

The Bolton striker is being strongly linked with a move in January when the transfer window re-opens.

And there is unlikely to be a shortage of interest with most of the Premier League's top clubs looking - including Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle, Portsmouth and former clubs Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Now United boss Ferguson has confirmed his admiration for Anelka ahead of a possible bid - but he admits he has never been able to land the French international.

Attempts

"We have tried to buy Anelka several times," Ferguson revealed.

"He is a very talented player. You always assess players with pace and ability to score and he comes into that category, and has done throughout his career."

Ferguson would not reveal the details of his past failures to land the 28-year-old.

"Sam (Allardyce) showed great faith in bringing him to Bolton because he had been around a few clubs before that," said Ferguson.

"But, for the first time, he seems to be feeling very settled and happy, which is important for a player like Anelka.

"Sam took the risk and it has worked. Bolton are getting their dividends and Anelka seems to have found the right club for himself in terms of enjoying the environment and the training."

Saha

Many feel a United move for Anelka will be dependent on what Ferguson decides to do with injury-prone Louis Saha.

"The situation with Louis is simple," he said.

"We are managing his appearances, trying to make sure we give him the right opportunities so we have him for the whole season, not just half.

"He has been unfortunate with a couple of the injuries he has had because they have not been easy ones to get over.

"We are trying not to put him under intense pressure in terms of playing time that could reverse the situation he is in at the moment. We want him to be playing in May."

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