The Frenchman, 33, looks set to leave Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua next month after a wages dispute – and a move back to England is on the cards.
“We are looking for good players and Anelka is a good player,” McDonald said.
“He had a fantastic relationship with Sam.”
McDonald also distanced the club from reports they are set to ditch on-loan striker Andy Carroll, saying: “He’s had a bad injury. Hopefully, when he comes back he is playing for us.”