Anelka to Lazio: Thanks, but no thanks

Nicolas Anelka

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has thanked Lazio for pursuing his signature but insists he won't be leaving The Hawthorns.

Lazio reportedly came within a whisker of signing West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka and the Frenchman has expressed gratitude for their interest while ruling out a move.

Anelka's future has been the subject of considerable debate after his 'quenelle gesture' lead to widespread condemnation, a probable lengthy FA ban and the withdrawal of West Brom's sponsor Zoopla.

Claudio Lotito, who owns Lazio, made an approach to try and sign Anelka in the winter window and reports suggest he was on the brink of succeeding.

In fact the Lazio chief is said to have agreed a deal with both West Brom and the player, only to pull out when Anelka's agent called to demand a higher salary.

Anelka insists he will ride out the storm in the Midlands but he has thanked the clubs who took an interest in him, singling out Lazio.

"Thanks to Lazio & all the others clubs who wanted to sign me this last days. See you this summer if I decide to continue..." Anelka began a series of tweets.

"But the question is why should I leave my club & England? I'm happy here & I did nothing wrong...

"So now it's time to stay focus on my football with my club & I will try my best on the pitch like I always do!"

Anelka is still waiting to hear what action will be taken against him for his gesture, but many pundits suggest he will receive at least a five-game suspension.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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