The Sunday Mirror says Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle have all tabled bids in excess of £14.5 million for the French marksman, who looks likely to leave the Reebok Stadium this week.

But the Gunners have asked to be kept informed of negotiations with a view to making an 11th hour move.

Despite the acrimony surrounding Anelka's move from Arsenal to Real Madrid in 1999, he is still highly rated by boss Arsene Wenger.

Anelka's French advisers flew in to the country last week and the likelihood of Anelka moving in the next few days increased yesterday when he was left out of Bolton's FA Cup clash with Sheffield United to avoid him becoming cup-tied.