The saga surrounding the future of Nicolas Anelka as a West Brom player took another twist as the Premier League club said it had now officially terminated the Frenchman’s contract.
Earlier on Friday, Anelka had claimed on Twitter that he had ended his contract, with immediate effect.
“In order to preserve my integrity, I’ve terminated my contract with West Brom with immediate effect,” he said.
The former France striker was due to begin a five-match ban on Saturday over his use of a controversial gesture called “quenelle”, which has anti—Semitic links.
Anelka denied those links but West Brom moved to take control of the situation late Friday when they issued a statement saying that they, in fact, had now sacked the striker.
“Nicolas Anelka’s purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via social media was invalid as this was not conducted under the correct legal process as required by his contract,” the club said.
“The club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28 (his gesture), coupled with his purported termination on social media this evening, to be gross misconduct.
“As a result the club has tonight written to Nicolas Anelka giving him 14 days’ notice of termination as required under his contract.”