West Bromwich Albion have denied reports Nicolas Anelka has retired, but he is on “compassionate” leave.
The rumours emerged after Anelka left the training ground this morning and emptied his locker amid reports his agent has died.
“West Bromwich Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in Saturday’s game at Everton,” read a statement.
“The club have excused the striker from club duty on compassionate grounds.”
It is not clear how long the 34-year-old former Juventus man will need before returning to the field, if indeed he resumes his career at all.
Anelka signed with West Brom just 49 days ago after a six-month loan spell at Juve.
The former France international made just three appearances for Antonio Conte’s side in the last campaign.