Anelka future shrouded in doubt

23 August 2013 11:16

The future of Nicolas Anelka is shrouded in doubt after West Brom granted the former France striker indefinite compassionate leave.

Anelka has been given time off by the club to grieve the death of his agent Eric Manasse, Press Association Sport understands.

West Brom revealed on their official website that Anelka would miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Everton on "compassionate grounds" and manager Steve Clarke will shed further light on Anelka's situation when he faces the media on Friday.

Anelka appeared to confirm Manasse's death while expressing his grief through his official Facebook page.

He wrote: "It is with great sadness that I just learned the death of Mr Eric Manasse. Upset by the news of mourning which strikes his family and relatives, Eric will leave a great void in our lives.

"I can't find the words to express my immense sorrow, and I wanted to bring all my condolences to family Manasse after this tragic loss."

While reports that the 34-year-old is set to retire are premature, both club and player have been left in limbo with West Brom opting against setting a timeframe for his return to duty given the nature of his absence.

Anelka met with West Brom's sporting and technical director Richard Garlic on Thursday when it became clear that he needed some time away from the game.

While Anelka's brother Claude is more widely known as his agent, the Frenchman's affairs were also handled by Manasse with whom it is believed he had a close relationship.

Anelka joined West Brom on a free transfer in July having completed a loan spell at Juventus when his lucrative move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua turned sour.

Source: PA