Transfer news: Atletico Mineiro will not sign Nicolas Anelka as the French striker took too long to reply to the club

French striker parted company with West Brom in March

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The Independent Football

Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro says it will not sign former France striker Nicolas Anelka because the player took too long to report to the club.

Atletico director Eduardo Maluf said in a media conference the player had until Monday to arrive and sign his contract. He said the club was advised by one of Anelka's agents that he would not be able to come to Brazil until the end of the week.

Maluf said Tuesday it was the third time the player and his agents "gave excuses" for his failure to report to the club. He said a pre-contract has been signed.

The 35-year-old Anelka has been without a club since West Bromwich Albion said it fired him in March following a five-match suspension for a racially aggravated goal celebration.