West Brom confirm Nicolas Anelka granted leave on 'compassionate grounds'
The striker only joined the Baggies this summer on a free transfer but he has left training on compassionate leave after the deat of his agent
West Brom have confirmed that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in this weekend's clash against Everton after granting the striker indefinite compassionate leave following the death of his agent Eric Manasse.
Reports suggested that Anelka had walked out of West Brom’s training session today, but this has been confirmed as false with Anelka not taking part in training after he learned of the news.
The Telegraph claimed that Anelka has suffered a personal tragedy with talks between him and the club failing to find an amicable solution, while Chris Lepkowski of the Birmingham Mail, who broke the news, wrote on his personal Twitter account that he understands Anelka's agent has died.
He wrote: "#wba insist Anelka has NOT retired. I understand his agent has died - which has hit him badly. What the future holds, we'll see."
A brief statement was made on the club’s official website regarding the situation, although it did not clarify whether Anelka will be retiring or not.
It read: “West Bromwich Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in Saturday’s game at Everton.
“The club have excused the striker from club duty on compassionate grounds.”
Anelka, who joined the Baggies after his contract with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua expired, has a history of controversial incidents which earned him the affectionate nickname 'Le Sulk'.
He only made his competitive debut on Saturday in West Brom’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton after England striker Rickie Lambert scored a late penalty to earn victory.
Anelka did not train with the rest of the squad today and is believed to have been questioning his future for a number of days. He did announce when he joined the club that he hoped to retire in England with West Brom being the last of his many clubs, but it seems that day may have come sooner than most will have thought.
Anelka was at the forefront of France’s disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign, when then-coach Raymond Domenech dismissed the striker from the national squad after Anelka had insulted him following the group stage defeat to Mexico.
The remainder of the squad sided with Anelka in claiming the French Football Federation had done nothing to protect the players, and they refused to train leaving Domenech singled out as the villain.
The coach claimed Anelka could have stayed had he apologised, but he was handed a lengthy ban for his actions, which proved worthless as he immediately retired from international duty.
Latest in Sport
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
- 1 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 2 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote