Bundesliga News

Kovac confirms Kruse is permanently out at Wolfsburg

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Whilst speaking on his team's first win of the season, VfL Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac dropped an unexpected bombshell during his post-match interview. 
Max Kruse.
Max Kruse.Photo: Дмитрий Голубович, Soccer.ru, CC BY-SA 3.0
After being on the pitch for the full 90 minutes during Wolfsburg's last two losses against Leipzig and Köln, Max Kruse was conspicuously absent from Niko Kovac's matchday squad this afternoon against Eintracht Frankfurt. Asked why the 34-year-old had been left off after the match, VfL trainer Niko Kovac made clear that this was not a temporary drop.

"We demand one hundred percent identification and commitment from every player with a focus on VfL," Kovac said to the Sky mics afterwards," We didn't have that feeling with Max."

Asked if this meant that the openly discontented veteran striker's time with the club was over, Kovac curtly replied "yes". Then asked, somewhat redundantly, if he Kruse would ever be used again, Kovac went with a straight, "no".

"As a coach, it's my responsibility to help the team," Kovac then elaborated, "We've seen no impetus from Max that he can help the team."

"It didn't work out, and the club is just above everything," the gaffer concluded, "That's why [sporting director] Marcel Schäfer, [managing director] Jörg Schmadtke and I made this decision [together]."

What happens now with Kruse is anything but clear. Already riding the reputation as a turncoat for switching to Wolfsburg from Union Berlin in the January transfer window, it's doubtful as to whether any German side in any tier might be interested in picking him up as a free agent; not least with the risks associated with his colorful history. A potential move across the pond has been floated, but nothing concrete has emerged yet.

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