Nicolas Anelka signs for Juventus ahead of clash with Celtic
Former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has joined Juventus on a five-month deal from China’s Shanghai Shenhua and he could now face Celtic in the Champions League last 16.
Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta said that the 33-year-old ex-France international would help solve an “emergency” situation in attack.
“It can be a good move for the short term then, at the end of the season, we’ll evaluate what must be done,” he said.
“He is filling a hole. It is a five-month contract with an option for the second season, if things go well. Anelka’s arrival rules out any other transfers because, in this stage of the transfer window, there are no other opportunities.”
Anelka, pictured, joined Shanghai a year ago and was later joined by his former Chelsea team mate Didier Drogba.
Celtic host Juve in the first leg of their Champions League tie on 12 February, with the return in Turin on 6 March.
In South Africa, Ivory Coast became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after they bulldozed Tunisia 3-0 and Algeria were eliminated when they were beaten 2-0 by Togo in Group D.
The Ivorians, who head the group with six points, cannot finish lower than second in their group. Togo and Tunisia, who each have three points from victories over Algeria, meet on Wednesday.
Ivory Coast reinforced their status as tournament favourites with a display of strength against Tunisia at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.
Yaya Toure crowned a towering performance with an 87th-minute goal after Gervinho had given the Ivorians the half-time lead and Didier Ya Konan added the third just seconds after coming on as a substitute.
It was a marked improvement on Tuesday’s limp start when the Ivorians needed a late goal to beat Togo 2-1 in their first match of the tournament.
Captain Didier Drogba was dropped for the first time, although he came on for the final 25 minutes, and Kolo Toure was also left out by coach Sabri Lamouchi as he attempted to kickstart the campaign for the much-fancied Ivorians.
“This is really the start of the tournament. I’m very satisfied with my players and their reaction,” said coach Lamouchi.
But he did not directly address questions about the talismanic Drogba being dropped to the bench.
“Those who were fielded were the ones who I believe were ready to face Tunisia from the first minute of the game,” said Lamouchi.
“I don’t see great players, only a great team.”
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