Villas-Boas admitted he had banished Anelka and Alex from his first-team squad because their commitment to the cause could not be guaranteed.
He said of the duo, who have both submitted transfer requests: "The players are not being treated like criminals.
"It was discussed with the board and the players.
"Their professionalism and integrity will never be in doubt, but we want the right mindset.
"For players on the transfer list, the reality is that, eventually, the mindset is not the same."