Anelka still at West Brom but misses Everton match

Nicolas Anelka

It is believed that Nicolas Anelka has been granted compassionate leave from the midlands club and will not feature on Saturday

Nicolas Anelka is still a West Brom player, or at least that's the message being released by the club, after a string of reports suggested that the 34 year-old striker had walked out on the Baggies after a meeting with a member of the board.

The rumour started after it was revealed that the Frenchman had been involved in a conversation with the Premier League club's sporting director, Richard Garlick, on Thursday morning where it was said he had underlined his intention to retire from the game.

West Brom have now confirmed however, that Anelka will miss the club's Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday, saying that the striker was given compassionate leave.

The exact reasons for the leave remain unclear although it is thought that the time off is for him to deal with the death of his agent, a move which means his future remains uncertain.

Anelka joined West Brom on a free transfer in the summer, when he expressed his delight at reuniting with former Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke.

He suggested at the time that he wanted to retire at the club, after a long and illustrious career which has seen him play for both Liverpool and Chelsea amongst others, and having recently enjoyed short spells with Shanghai Shenhua and Juventus.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch