Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is set to £4million bankroll a surprise swoop for Nicolas Anelka to replace Louis Saha.

Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan will listen to offers for Anelka, with the club in debt and the striker keen to move back to London.

Anelka has scored 21 goals this season but his stay at the club has been marred by reports of a bust-up with strike partner Robbie Fowler.

Some City players reckon Anelka gets preferential treatment from Keegan.

Fowler snapped at the City boss when he tried to fine him for turning up late for training.

The striker allegedly claimed he would not pay until Keegan first fined Anelka, who has been late for training several times.

Fulham have seen their push for UEFA Cup football stall at the weekend with a 0-0 draw against Birmingham.

Boss Chris Coleman missed out on German marksman Miroslav Klose two months ago and was then interested in bringing in Blackburn’s Andy Cole to replace Saha.

But Coleman is now keeping his options open following news of Anelka’s possible availability.

Only this week, he admitted Fulham missed Saha’s cutting edge. He said: ‘We had a good start but are suffering from losing our best player who banged in 15 goals for us.’