Clarke reveals Anelka quit warning

Steve Clarke says Nicolas Anelka told him he wanted to quit football but the West Brom boss hopes he'll change his mind.

Last Updated: 23/08/13 at 13:08 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Charlee Adams signs new one-year contract with Birmingham

Post comment

Birmingham midfielder Charlee Adams has signed a new one-year contract with the club.

Southampton confident Jay Rodriguez will stay but striker will consider his options

Post comment

Southampton are confident Jay Rodriguez will commit to a new long-term deal but the player will consider his options.

All Articles

Nicolas Anelka: Told Clarke that he want

Nicolas Anelka: Told Clarke that he want

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke would like to think Nicolas Anelka will play for the club again - but admits he does not know what to expect.

Anelka has been granted indefinite compassionate leave by the Baggies following the death of his agent Eric Manasse last weekend.

Clarke confirmed the 34-year-old former France striker spoke to him and West Brom's sporting and technical director Richard Garlick about retiring from football altogether on Thursday before departing the club's training ground.

Asked on Friday morning if he fully expected to see Anelka playing for the midlands outfit again, Clarke said: "Fully expect? I don't know, because from the conversation we had the other day, it was really negative.

"But we have given him time to think about it. So I'd like to think he could play for West Bromwich Albion again."

Clarke was adamant there had been no hostility in the exchanges between Anelka and the club.

"Obviously Nicolas lost a close friend and an agent over the weekend - he died suddenly," the Scot said.

"Nicolas went to Richard on Thursday and indicated that he wasn't in a good place.

"I went in and had a very brief chat with him, and he wasn't in a good place.

"So the club have decided just to give him a bit of time to go away and think about it and get himself in a better place for the future.

"Really, that is as much as there is to tell on the situation - it wasn't dramatic, there was no big bust-up, he didn't storm out of the training ground. It is just a boy who is really quite upset."

Asked directly if Anelka had mentioned quitting, Clarke added: "I'm not going to deny that he used that word in the conversations we had with him.

"But we've given him time to go away and think about it and I don't think we could do any more in the circumstances as they were."

Clarke is keen to hold further discussions with Anelka in due course, saying: "Once he gets his head clear and we can sit down and have a proper chat, yeah, sure. But at the moment (granting Anelka compassionate leave) is the best course of action for both Nicolas and the club."

West Brom's first match without Anelka, who was a free agent when they signed him this summer, is Saturday's top-flight trip to Everton.

Clarke stressed an injury had already made it unlikely that the frontman, who made his Albion debut against Southampton last weekend, would feature at Goodison Park.

He said: "He was actually injured. He hadn't trained with us this week, so I was preparing the team for Everton without Nicolas in it anyway - he got a kick against Southampton."

Someone who is set to be involved against the Toffees is Scott Sinclair, whose season-long loan switch from Manchester City to the Baggies was confirmed on Thursday.

On the 24-year-old, Clarke said: "He had a couple of great seasons at Swansea, got the big-money move to Manchester City and he feels he didn't get the chances there he deserved to play in their team, and I think he is probably right on that.

"He comes here hungry and determined to prove he is still the quality player he showed he was at Swansea. He is desperate to play this weekend.

"He is looking for a nice quiet house out in the country here - he said he doesn't want to stay in the town centre, which is music to my ears!

"He is looking forward to living somewhere nice and quiet, and just concentrating on his football. I think it is a big year for him."

The other new faces Clarke has added to his squad this summer are striker Matej Vydra, recruited on loan from Udinese, and defender Diego Lugano.

Asked about making further signings before the end of the transfer window, Clarke said: "I'm not going to name names, but it's clear we definitely need more signings.

"I would like another wide player if possible, maybe another midfield player, maybe another defender, maybe another striker - you never know.

"The last week of the window is coming up and we haven't been overly active - certainly in comparison to other clubs, we have been under-active.

"I'm hoping it will be a busy week for the club."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet then £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi double puts Barca in control

Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company