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Want-away Sagnol

Chairman: We’ll sit down and talk it through

Willy Sagnol was a member of the matchday squad for the first time in nearly eight injury-plagued months against VfL Wolfsburg last Saturday, prompting an ecstatic reaction from the Allianz Arena crowd, but the player did not come on for a first Bundesliga appearance since the injury which prompted cartilage surgery back in April.

The France star, a Bayern player since 2001 and contracted to the Bavarians until 2010, still managed to hit the headlines. “Weeks ago, I asked the club if I could leave during the winter break,“ he told reporters on his way out of the Allianz Arena. Now, speaking ahead of the squad departure for Thursday’s UEFA Cup tie away to SC Braga, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has made a first public statement regarding Sagnol’s want-away outburst.

Frustrated at not playing

“He’s gone about it the wrong way,” Rummenigge commented, adding that the board and head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld had gone over the issues in detail with the player on Monday. “We urgently recommended he let the matter drop until the winter break,” Rummenigge continued, “then we’ll sit down and talk it through on the 20th or 21st of December.“

Rummenigge dismissed reports claiming Sagnol had personal reasons for wanting to leave: “The sole problem is that he’s not playing.“ However, the chairman reckons the issue is exacerbated by the “difficult weeks“ lying ahead of the Bundesliga leaders in the run-up to Christmas. “I can fully understand the coach not bringing him on when the going got tough against Wolfsburg,” the former world-class striker commented.

Hard work in training

Rummenigge admitted that the club would be reluctant to let Sagnol go. “Willy’s a great player – when he’s in peak condition. But after so long out with injury, you need time to regain peak condition.“ Rummenigge offered words of advice to the unsettled star: “He should continue to work hard in training.“ A fully-fit Sagnol would undoubtedly frequently feature in Hitzfeld’s selection plans.