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Anelka will not leave Chelsea: Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti insists in-form striker Nicolas Anelka is staying at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti, ahead of tonight’s home clash with Birmingham City, rejected suggestions that the 11-goal hitman will quit the club following speculation that talks over a new contract had stalled.

“I'm confident he'll sign,” said the Italian. “Anelka is a top player and this club needs to have a lot of top players. And so, it's the same question with Joe Cole. We want to keep him and he wants to stay. There will be a resolution. Anelka has told me he wants to stay. He's happy with me. He's happy to work with me, and I'm very happy to work with him. That's a wedding, no? We don't want to break up.”

Ahead of the game, Birmingham have completed the £3million signing of midfielder Craig Gardner from local rivals Aston Villa.

Manager Alex McLeish admits he is also targeting a striker and a wide midfield player, but while the ex-Rangers boss is under no illusions about the task facing his side tonight he believes they can play with no fear after their recent run and encouraging performances against other ‘big guns.'

He said: “We won't be favourites to win this one! But we've gone to Old Trafford, the Emirates, White Hart Lane, Anfield, Goodison Park and, although we may have not taken a lot of points at those places, we've given good performances.”

Belfast Telegraph