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 has confirmed Nicolas Anelka will miss the club's Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday after the striker was given compassionate leave, with the reasoning still unclear.

Earlier on Thursday reports circulated that Anelka had walked out of training after a conversation with sporting director Richard Garlick, and signaled his intention to retire from football. Conflicting reports suggest the 34-year-old forward has been given time off to deal with the death of his agent, and that his future remains uncertain.

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.