Shanghai’s big spending side are just one point off the bottom of the league, and star striker Anelka has come under increasing pressure to improve, having only managed to score twice in his 12 matches so far.
However, with the pressure already on, tempers boiled over last weekend when Shanghai lost 1-0 to bottom-of-the-table outfit Qingdao Jonoon, prompting a frustrated Anelka to refuse to bow in front of his team-mates after the game.
Bowing is seen as a customary tradition in China, and a way of thanking the players and fans - many of whom had travelled over 700 miles to attend the away fixture.
Yet Anelka’s refusal was not left at that, as one angry fan burst into the Shanghai hotel, and confronted Anelka in the dressing room dmeanding to know why he didn’t bow with the rest of the team.
Anelka was dragged away by members of the security and coaching staff, but the furious fan soon caught up with the Shenhua skipper as he tried to board the team bus, once again starting a heated exchange.
‘I took time off work and paid for flight tickets and a hotel to come to support you all, but you did what?,’ said the supporter.
‘You are the captain and you should be responsible for bowing to the fans - if you don’t respect us, we don’t respect you.’
The former France striker beckoned the fan over, before insisting ‘I don’t care’, and climbed aboard the bus, leaving the gathering collection of fans stunned at his lack of respect.
The news has spread rapidly in China, and there are now calls of a range of sanctions to be brought against the player, including being stripped of the captaincy and fined wages.
But Anelka may not be around much longer to accept punishment, as he is reported to be preparing for a return to the Premier League with West Ham and QPR interested.
Shanghai would be willing to accept offers in the region of £5 million.