Anelka and Alex transfer requests accepted

Chelsea have accepted transfer requests from former France striker Nicolas Anelka and Brazilian defender Alex, the Premier League club said on Saturday.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas told the club website after the 3-0 win at Newcastle United that both players, who were not in the squad for the game at St James' Park, had put in requests.

"The conversation was fair and direct with the players," he said.

"They are top professionals and their professionalism and integrity is never in question, but on recent results and form we have decided to try to get the group together and we have decided to assign different training times for them.

"The transfer requests were accepted but it doesn't mean it will happen, and if it doesn't happen they will return to full training."