Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that Alex and Nicolas Anelka are looking to leave Stamford Bridge. Reuters

Nicolas Anelka and Alex's days at Stamford Bridge appear to be numbered as the January transfer period approaches, and Chelsea seek to upgrade their club.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that the pair have expressed their desire to move on from the Blues.

The conversation was fair and very, very frontal and direct with the players, said Villas-Boas. The players have shown their interest in leaving the club - they have put in transfer requests for quite some time.

They are top, top professionals - their professionalism and integrity is never in question - but at this moment and with the recent from and results, we have decided just to try to get the group together, and we have decided to assign different training times for Anelka and Alex.

Again, it was a frontal and direct conversation. The players were fantastic in assuming it. The group was informed and they took on board the decision.

The transfer request was accepted - it doesn't mean that it will happen, and if it doesn't happen, the players will return to full training.

According to Daily Mail, Anelka has drawn interest from Russian club Terek Grozny. In the summer, Anelka was linked to Paris St. Germain and Real Betis by Daily Mirror. More recently, Metro reported that the French forward was linked to Tottenham and AC Milan.

There is also speculation that Anelka could move to the U.S. and play for the New York Red Bulls.

Alex has generated little discussion recently. The Brazilian defender was linked to Arsenal and Juventus over the summer. Though Arsenal may need a defender due to injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, and Bacary Sagna, the Gunners may balk at Alex's £7 million price tag.