ANDRE Villas-Boas has left the door open for transfer-listed duo Nicolas Anelka and Alex to return to the Chelsea first-team.
The pair are set to leave Stamford Bridge in January and missed training this morning ahead of tomorrow night's do-or-die Champions League clash with Valencia.
But Blues boss Villas-Boas has denied reports the duo have been frozen out.
He said: "A conversation was had with those players and they accepted it. It doesn’t mean they cannot return in the future to first-team activity.
“The players are not being treated like criminals – contrary to what has been written. These are top professional players and we have respect for that.
“The players involved are still in contact with us and it doesn’t mean they will not return in the future.”
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