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Football: Gerrard keen on move for Anelka.

Byline: SIMON STONE

LIVERPOOL skipper Steven Gerrard has backed the idea of a January move for Manchester City's controversial forward Nicolas Anelka.

The French striker was a big hit with the Anfield club during his spell on loan in 2002 and it was a huge surprise when he was not offered a permanent deal by then manager Gerard Houllier.

Kevin Keegan stepped in to capture Anelka from Paris St Germain in a record pounds 13million deal but the relationship between the pair has been strained by a recent magazine article in which the six-goal front-man suggested he wanted a move to a `bigger' club.

Anelka was booed by a section of the Blues support when he made his entrance as a substitute during Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Tottenham, and received little sympa-thy from his manager who claimed the player had alienated the fans.

With debts of pounds 62million, the transfer of Anelka could release some cash for City.

Liverpool, whose star forward Djibril Cisse will not play again this term after breaking his leg at Blackburn, are in the market for a top-quality forward who is not cup-tied for Europe.

Anelka fits the bill and Gerrard would definitely like to see the 25-year-old back in a red shirt.

``I remember a few years ago when we were going for the title, Everton came to Anfield and nearly turned us over, '' Gerrard said.

``We were grateful to Nicolas Anelka that day. He was great for us when he was here. He was on fire for us at that time. He is another one of the best strikers in the world I have played with and he proved it that day. ''
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2004
Words:280
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