Clarke keen on Anelka talks

Clarke keen on Anelka talks

Clarke keen on Anelka talks

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is eager to sit down with Nicolas Anelka on Wednesday to seek clarification on the striker's future after he went on compassionate leave last week.

The former France international has been away from the club following the death of his close friend and agent Eric Manasse and has even reportedly talked about quitting football altogether.

Should Anelka opt to retire - just weeks after signing for the club - it would leave a huge void in Clarke's Albion squad with time running out to find a replacement.

The head coach is therefore keen to speak to Anelka urgently to learn of his intentions and plan for the remainder of the season.

"The situation has not really changed," Clarke said after watching his side ease past Newport and into the Capital One Cup third round with a 3-0 win on Tuesday night.

"But I'm conscious time is short in the remaining part of the transfer window so it's something I'll try to address. We have to try to arrange a meeting as quickly as we can to try to get it sorted.

"I have to sit down and speak to Nicolas. That's the first thing. We have to get in touch with him or he has to get in touch with us and we have to see where he is, where he's at, how he feels, as quickly as possible. We have to have that chat.

"The furthest away he can be is London, because that's where he lives. I don't think he has a house in France. He's not there, as far as I know."

Regardless of the Anelka situation, Clarke is keen to bolster his playing staff before the transfer window closes this week.

"Hopefully we can get players in," he said. "It's a job for the club, I'm head coach and I have to train and work with the players I've got. That's my job. But whether we're any closer to bringing anyone in, I couldn't tell you."

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