West Brom striker Anelka to miss Everton clash on compassionate grounds

The Baggies have denied reports the Frenchman has retired from football, but the 34-year-old will play no part in Saturday's match against Roberto Martinez's men
West Brom have confirmed Nicolas Anelka will miss the club's Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday after the striker was given compassionate leave.

Earlier on Thursday reports circulated that Anelka had walked out of training after a conversation with sporting director Richard Garlick, and signalled his intention to retire from football.

However, his agent, Doug Pingisi, has since told the AFP that Anelka has not retired but is in mourning, saying: "No, Nicolas did not stop his career."

Later in the day, Anelka posted condolences for his agent, Eric Manasse, who is believed to have passed away on Thursday morning.

Anelka joined West Brom on a free transfer in the summer, having enjoyed short spells with Shanghai Shenhua and Juventus last season.

As recently as July the 34-year-old expressed his delight at reuniting with former Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke at the Hawthorns, and suggested he wanted to retire at the club.