Serie A - Lippi backs Anelka deal

Marcello Lippi has backed Juventus in their pursuit of Nicolas Anelka, telling his former club that he has "great class".

The former France international, 33, is poised to follow Didier Drogba in leaving Shanghai Shenhua and will sign for the Italian champions on loan.

The former Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City striker had been linked with West Ham and QPR and his move to Juventus comes as something of a surprise.

But Lippi, who manages Guangzhou Evergrande in China and won five Serie A titles during two spells as Juve boss, says Anelka will be a good signing.

“Juventus know what they need,” Coach Lippi, who works in China for Guangzhou Evergrande, told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I see that the Juventus fans are a little sceptical of him, but he has great class and perhaps just needs a new challenge.

“Juve play total football where fatigue is evenly distributed. The attackers are asked to press, to drop back and that sometimes doesn’t make them cool in front of goal.

“That’s why they have been searching for a new striker for some time.”