Nicolas Anelka and Alex submit Chelsea transfer requests

Alex and Nicolas Anelka
Alex (left) and Anelka were not in the Chelsea squad for the win at Newcastle

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas says he has accepted transfer requests from striker Nicolas Anelka and defender Alex.

Speaking after the Blues' 3-0 over Newcastle, Villas-Boas said the players would be allowed to leave in January.

"The conversation was fair and direct with the players," Villas-Boas said.

"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."

Villas-Boas said the pair, who were not in the squad for Saturday's win, were no longer training with the first-team squad.

Anelka, 32, joined from Bolton in January 2008 for £15m. He has scored 59 goals in 185 appearances for Chelsea.

Alex, 29, was signed by Chelsea in 2004 from Brazilian club Santos. He was loaned to Dutch side PSV until 2007 when he finally secured a work permit. The centre-back has made 135 appearances for Chelsea.

Writing on his Twitter pageexternal-link, Anelka said he knew where he would be playing in January, but did not reveal the identity of the club.

"The club, which is going through a difficult time, has decided to play with the players of Chelsea's future and, because I am a big professional, I accept this decision," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Villa-Boas said the 3-0 victory was a "massive result".

But he admitted the Blues were lucky to keep 11 men on the field after last man David Luiz brought down Demba Ba in the fourth minute, but received only a booking.

"We have been treated unfairly for quite some time as well and maybe today the decision fell our way," Villas-Boas said.

The Chelsea boss praised his team: "They were amazing and show fantastic team and fighting spirits when everything is against them, when they are in the newspapers being questioned."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said he was baffled as to why Luiz was not sent off.

But he added: "It changed the game. The referee said to me at half-time that he [Ba] didn't have control of the ball.

"I am not quite sure of the rule book, so I need to get that out and have a look at it."

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