West Brom sack striker Anelka

West Bromwich Albion have sacked striker Nicolas Anelka for ‘gross misconduct’, just hours after he said on Twitter that he would leave the Midlands club, the Guardian has reported.

Anelka, who is currently serving a five-match ban for making a ‘quenelle’ gesture while celebrating a goal at West Ham United on December 28, revealed that his West Brom contract was being terminated, saying: “Following discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made that I rejoined the group under certain conditions that I cannot accept.

‘Wishing to keep my integrity, so I decided to free myself and to terminate the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, and now.”

However, West Brom have responded by claiming that no agreement between the club and Anelka had been reached, before deciding to sack the player, giving him 14 days’ notice. Officially, the Baggies say that Anelka was sacked for gross misconduct, mainly related to his failure to apologise for the ‘quenelle’ gesture.

A club statement read: “The club required Nicolas Anelka to apologise to it, its supporters, sponsors and the wider community for the impact and consequences of his gesture made on December 28 and secondly, that he accept a substantial fine.

“The club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on social media, to be gross misconduct.”

Anelka joined West Brom last summer on a free transfer, but only scored twice in his 11 Premier League appearance. His dismissal by the club is likely to be the last time he is seen playing in England, with the Frenchman having also had spells with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea.

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