Ex Arsenal and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka to retire from football?

Recently-signed West Bromwich Albion hitman may walk out of club after a mere 49 day service.

Decorated Frenchman Nicolas Anelka is rumoured to be contemplating his future as the 34-year-old is alleged to have walked out on West Bromwich Albion after only signing for them six weeks ago, making just one competitive appearance.

A Premier League winner with Arsenal and Chelsea, Anelka's career has seen him represent clubs from a number of countries including France, Spain, Turkey, China and Italy. After transferring to the Baggies on a free, though, it appears Anelka may have played his last game.

A statement on the club's official website plays down his speculated retirement but does confirm off-the-pitch issues: '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.'

Reports are rife amongst the British press that Anelka walked out of training this morning, Thursday. It is also understood that he collected his personal items and had a meeting with Richard Garlick, the club's technical director.

Brom, meanwhile, will look to loan signing Matej Vydra to fill the Anelka void. The 21-year-old Czech striker joined the Midlanders from Udinese after a goal-laden season with Watford.

It is unclear whether Anelka's absence will force West Brom into the transfer market, however, Scott Sinclair has been a forward continually linked with a move to Steve Clarke's side.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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