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Montreal in transfer talks with Anelka

Anelka (Getty Images)

The Montreal Impact have made quite the splash since kicking off their inaugural MLS preseason, but the club reportedly has a potential move in the works that would top everything it's done thus far in building its roster.

According to Fox Soccer, the Impact have had extensive talks with Nicolas Anelka about bringing the Chelsea striker to MLS.

Anelka, 32, submitted a transfer request to Chelsea last week, and even though his contract with the club expires this summer, sources told Fox that a winter move is possible if the finances can be worked out.

Anelka no longer has a consistent place at Stamford Bridge with Didier Drobga, Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge all claiming minutes under manager Andre Villas-Boas. The well-traveled French international striker would immediately boost the Impact's forward corps, though, while becoming a marketing dream for the team's vastly French-Canadian fanbase in Quebec.    

What do you make of Montreal going after Anelka? Do you hope to see him sign with the Impact?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. And it’s not just a matter of complaining but also his effort on the pitch. Henry complains a lot but it only serves to motivate him b/c he has that fire in the belly that great competitors have. Anelka, on the other hand, seem to sulk and drift in and out of games. This seems like a bad recipe for MLS play if you as me. Too many DPs come in and treat MLS like a money grab where they don’t have to give any effort. You have to be very selective, personality-wise, in who you bring in for the DP.

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  2. Well, the great Zidane for one. How about some more? In MLS we have Le Toux who’s attitude is an outstanding example for all players. How about over in Europe, past and present? Desailly, Deschamps, Vieira, Cabaye, Lloris, Mexes, Saha, Givet, Sagna, Clichy, Wiltord, Thuram, Abidal, Revelliere, Koscielny, (Benoit) Cheyrou…I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

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  3. Everyone keeps commenting on Anelka’s attitude problems, but let’s be honest here: are there French soccer players who *don’t* complain about everything? Maybe it’s just a cultural thing…

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  4. Bad move, if it happens. This guy is vain and all about the money.

    He won’t be happy suffering with an MLS expansion team, while they play half their home games at the old Olympique. If they need a “name” like him to fill seats, Montreal is already in trouble.

    Impact should focus on building a squad first, before looking to sign megatron DPs. Make sure the DP would be a god fit for the squad, rather than try to fit the squad around an aging DP that screams “semi-retired”. Vancouver Whitecaps tried to start with a DP + interational team and it was a disaster.

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  5. to be fair, the last half of the season Beckham was a starter for Madrid and he helped turn the season around for them and they won the league.

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  6. I have to echo previous concerns about his attitude. A number of top players have come over and just stolen money without giving much effort and have become colossal flops (see Rafa Marquez). The best DPs are guys who are not just talented but are competitive and professional as well.

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  7. Montreal needs to think long and hard before they bring this sulky prima donna into their team. This guy has shown himself to be uncoachable and a bad teammate over and over and over again. I think he’ll score goals, but I dunno if its worth the inevitable distraction.

    Also, I am curious, do many French Canadians support the France national team? I’d imagine that any France fan wouldn’t want this clown anywhere near their team.

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  8. There really isn’t that many Arabs in Montréal. I’d say it’s something like the fourth most spoken language in Montréal, but it’s only because most immigrant speaks french, english or italian.

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  9. He is not even close to Beckham in terms of marketability, but soccerwise- its much better. He is a class player that is a cut above… hence a great addition for MLS soccer if it happens.

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  10. I don’t know if it should be Anelka–but L’Impact should definitely try to bring in some big-name French star. It would fill seats in Quebec, where interest in the French national team is as common as interest in the Irish national team is in Massachusetts or the Italian national team is in New Jersey. It just makes sense.

    I’m sure D.C. United would never let him go, but I can’t help but think that having a big-name Canadian star would do good things for them too. Someone like Lars Hirshfeld, Simeon Jackson, or (dreamworld for L’Impact) David Hoilett.

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  11. No that’s true. I’m from the practically Canadian part of upstate New York, where more people took French than Spanish in high school, and I’ve definitely heard that. It’s more or less like the American English to British English relationship.

    Btw I had the same thought as Murphy. We’re talking about Le Sulk, right? I don’t see how he’d be able to keep his fragile head together through an expansion year.

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  12. MLS needs to play a little fast with the money. Raise the cap to $3.5 million. They gotta spend money to make money. 18 league teams, soon to be 19. We’re growing each year. Need better PR though, especially with the youth players

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  13. How much is he worth a season? To me say $3-4 million. Isn’t that what Keane is making at Galaxy? Anelka is a solid striker, but isn’t world-class like Drogba/Rooney/Torres and plus he’ll be 33 next year.Plus is his name really that much a plus? Will people come to games cause of him? Sure fans will go maybe due to Henry/Beckham and heck maybe even Marquez/Keane, but Anelka? Not sure man. why not try breaking the bank for an in form 30 year old European striker with loads of years and NT experience.

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  14. Actually would be a good move if he joins L’Impact. Knowing Jesse Marsch, he would be able work with Anelka’s ego. Montreal would be a great city for Nicolas and not because it’s a French speaking city but because:

    1) Montreal is a one kool as city and one of the koolest in North America

    2) Large Muslim population and last I heard, Arabic is the 2nd most spoken lanaguage in Montreal – someone else needs to confirm this for me since I don’t live in Montreal and the last time I visitted, I did have a ton of conversations with alot of North Africans.

    Selfish reasons, I hope it happens becuase Anelka can still play and would be fun to watch in person.

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  15. This is not new. Anelka and Montral have been in talks for over a month now. It has only become “serious” and got the media’s attention since he handed in his request for transfer.

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  16. The Shanghai deal is a “lever”. for negotiations. I don’t think Anelka would take the money (and exile) to China. The MLS has started to get some “creds” in Europe and SA as a possible destination for “name”footballers who are still close to their prime but have been moved to the bench as younger players come to the fore. Remember Beckham was sitting on the bench at Real Madrid when the Galaxy came calling. If he had a regular first team spot he would have not come to the galaxy.

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  17. This is a fantastic idea. I’d love to see an MLS club waste DP money on a completely unreliable butthole of a player. What’s the over/under on number of games they’ll play while a whiny Anelka flies back to France without permission to sulk?

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  18. Anelka is the Great Sulk, but be is still a dangerous and skilled striker at 32. He won’t have the baggage his reputation brings by playing in North America and obviously by playing in Montreal, and being French himself, its seems like a natural fit.

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  19. According to his own website, he’s already got a deal, so Montreal having “talks” with him now is pointless. Anyone can call someone’s agent. This sound more to me like an expansion team trying to show they can run with the big boys by spreading false hype…

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  20. Anybody else think this is crazy? Anelka is a great player but how many times has he had a conflict with a coach or been “out of favor” at a club? I doubt he would be in a good mood suffering through an expansion year in Montreal.

    But that is just my voice of reason talking. I would love to see him in MLS and he would be great for the league. Probably score some nice goals too.

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  21. The key on this is that the Impact don’t break the bank to the extent that they can’t have any other impact (pardon the pun) players to partner with Anelka. This would be a great move for MLS if Anelka plays as he is capable of playing and doesn’t retire on the field.

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  22. It would be great to see him in the MLS, and obviously great for Montreal. BUT, it’s reported that he’s close to signing a £6.4million-a-year deal (just over $10 million) with Shanghai Shenhua in China. Would Saputo be willing to put up the same kind of money?

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  23. “The Montreal Impact have made quite the splash since kicking off their inaugural MLS preseason”

    Admit it, Avi. You really wanted to type, “Montreal have made quite the *impact* since kicking off their inaugural MLS preseason…”

    =)

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  24. Simply amazing! This could be a Beckhamish promotional move for the Impact. Anelka is a still a top quality player with several good years left. He would certainly be a cut above in the MLS and add pure class and talent which can only help the entire league.

    Please make this happen for the league!

    ~FCD Fan

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