Anelka announces he's quit WBA
Former France international Nicolas Anelka has taken to Twitter to announce that he has left West Bromwich Albion with immediate effect - but the club have reacted angrily to the move and denied his contract has been cancelled.
• Evans: Anelka relationship unhappy
Anelka, 35, is currently serving a five-match ban for the quenelle gesture he made at West Ham United in December, and was suspended by the Baggies after the Football Association's independent panel confirmed the punishment.
It was thought the FA would appeal that decision, wanting a longer ban, but it has decided against that course of action.
The striker has revealed that West Brom set certain conditions on him being able to rejoin the squad, conditions which he feels he cannot accept.
He is due to be out of contract at the end of the season but claimed to have terminated his contract early. But the midlands club have branded his decision to go public as "unprofessional" and insist there has been no contact from the player or his advisers over his contract.
If he does leave WBA, FIFA rules mean he will not be allowed to play for another European club this season and he could decide to retire from the game.
Anelka tweeted the news in his native French: "Following talks between the club and me, propositions were made to me in order to reintegrate me into the squad under certain conditions that I cannot accept.
"Wishing to retain my integrity, I have therefore taken the decision to free myself and put an end to the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion to 2014, with immediate effect.''
West Brom's statement countered those claims by saying: "The club confirms it has been continuing discussions with Nicolas Anelka and his advisers as part of its own internal enquiry into the gesture he made after scoring against West Ham United on Dec. 28.
"Following the conclusion of the FA's enquiry into the same incident, the club had hoped to conclude its own investigations next week.
"The club notes Nicolas Anelka's comments on Twitter this evening [Friday]. However, the club has received nothing formally regarding the termination of Nicolas Anelka’s contract from either him or his advisers.
"The club regards the release of such a statement on social media as highly unprofessional and will make a further statement when appropriate."
Suite aux entretiens entre le club et moi, des propositions m'ont été faîtes pour que je réintègre le groupe sous certaines conditions— nicolas anelka (@anelkaofficiel) March 14, 2014
que je ne peux pas accepter. Souhaitant garder mon intégrité, j'ai donc pris la décision de me libérer et de mettre fin au contrat— nicolas anelka (@anelkaofficiel) March 14, 2014
me liant avec West Bromwich Albion jusqu'en 2014, et ce dès à présent.— nicolas anelka (@anelkaofficiel) March 14, 2014