LONDON (AFP) - Banned French striker Nicolas Anelka on Friday revealed he will leave West Bromwich Albion with immediate effect.
Anelka, who turned 35 on Friday, was due to start a five-match suspension after being punished for his controversial "quenelle" goal celebration but instead he has decided to terminate his contract with the Premier League club.
"Following discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made to me that I rejoined the group under certain conditions," Anelka wrote on his official Twitter account. "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 as of now."
Anelka's contract with the Baggies was set to expire at the end of the season and it had already been reported that he was considering quitting the Hawthorns after growing disillusioned over the controversy surrounding his now infamous use of what many regard as an anti-semitic gesture to celebrate a goal in West Brom's 3-3 draw at West Ham on December 28.
The ex-France international strenuously denied all allegations of being racist or anti-semitic and said the salute was to show solidarity with his friend, controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala.
On Thursday, the Football Association decided against appealing the length of Anelka's five-match ban, issued by an independent commission for his actions.
Anelka, who has spent 12 years of his career in the Premier League with six clubs, is understood to have also accepted the ruling, which means his suspension would have started with West Brom's match at Swansea on Saturday.
The FA were considering an appeal to obtain an increase to the ban, which was the minimum that could be handed out based on the governing body's new rules overseeing offences of a racist nature.
West Brom have yet to confirm Anelka's revelation that he is set to leave, with their own investigation into the former Arsenal and Real Madrid star's actions expected to conclude next week.
Albion had already lost one sponsor as a result of the row and the club had not ruled out sacking Anelka for his quenelle gesture.