Over the course of two seasons, Nicolas Anelka made 61 appearances for Bolton Wanderers, scoring 23 goals in the process. He finished the 2006/07 season as the Trotters' top scorer with ten goals on the year. The following season, he signed a four year contract extension but just one year after that, Chelsea came calling and Bolton Wanderers sold the French striker for £15 million.
After his Chelsea stay ended in 2012, Anelka moved to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua (where he was later joined by Didier Drogba). With financial problems and a corruption scandal, among other issues including but not limited to the team's coach, Anelka left the side and moved to Juventus on a five month contract in January, 2013.
Anelka's participation in Juventus' Serie A-winning season was minimal, to say the least. The striker was named to the matchday squad on ten occasions but only participated in three matches, appearing as a late-game substitute in each one. Over the course of his stay, Anelka would total just 48 minutes in a Juventus shirt (including a five-minute-long run out against Celtic in the Champions League).
Now, two different reports out of Italy (from Sportevai and JuveMania) claim that Nicolas Anelka could be on his way back to the Reebok Stadium. It was his stay at Bolton that revived the career of "Le Sulk" following relatively short stays at Paris St Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Fenerbahce.
Questions remain about whether Anelka is the Dougie Freedman "type" of player but his experience is unquestionable and it was the striker's time at Bolton Wanderers that really saw him flourish and re-enter the France national team picture. Wages for a player like Anelka would obviously be a concern but if the price is right, you can bet most fans would say "yes" in a heartbeat.
Anelka was making a rumored £196,000 per week while playing for Shanghai Shenhua last year. He would have to take an 80-90% pay cut in order for it to be financially feasible. Whether this one falls into the "dream transfer" category or not remains to be seen. One would have to imagine that there are a number of clubs still interested in the striker's services.
Anelka took a massive pay cut when he moved to Juventus, signing on to make just €600,000 over the course of six months. That equates to £505,000 for the six months or, for Bolton Wanderers, a very reasonable £18,000 per week.
Freedman is not afraid of bringing in experienced players (insert Danny Butterfield quip here) and the idea of bringing back fan favorites has already been heavily discussed during the manager's relatively short tenure. On loan deadline day at the end of March, one of the most heavily-rumored moves was the potential return of El-Hadji Diouf.
Update: Two more reports from CanalJuve (which cites a tuttomercatoweb report) and CalcioNews24 echo the statements of the Sportevai and JuveMania reports while tuttomercatoweb (the same website that spoke to Marcos Alonso's father about his Fiorentina move) is reporting that there are two clubs in England interested in Anelka's services, they however say that it is two Premier League clubs.