Gignac rejects Valencia ham, Choupo-Moting’s missed email, Prandelli leaves Viola, more stories from the week
Although we are now approaching the midpoint of the March international break, plenty continues to happen in the world of European club soccer with a raft of managerial changes in this week’s update. Cesare Prandelli, Peter Bosz and Stephane Moulin have left or will leave their roles at the end of the season while a bizarre mix-up meant that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting missed Cameroon international duty.
All of that and much more.
Prandelli’s heartfelt message
Fiorentina’s Cesare Prandelli stepped down earlier this week just months after returning for a second spell at Artemio Franchi to aid their survival, citing a “dark cloud” inside him that prevented him from doing the job to the best of his abilities and hinted that he is done with coaching.
“In life, as well as the good times, there are also dark moments which can get on top of you,” wrote the 63-year-old Italian. “I have been going through a period of profound distress which is preventing me from being who I really am.
“Over the past few months, a dark cloud has developed inside of me, changing the way I see things. I came here to give 100%, but I now feel that this is no longer possible and therefore I have decided to step back for the good of everyone involved.
“I am aware that this could be the end of my career as a coach, but I have no regrets and do not wish to have any. The world I have been a part of for my whole life probably is not right for me anymore — I no longer see myself in it.”
Choupo-Moting Cameroon call-up calamity
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has not been part of Cameroon’s Africa Cup of nations qualifiers with his father Camille suggesting that an administrative error contributed to the 32-year-old’s absence for the matches with Cape Verde and Rwanda — FECAFOOT rejects this.
“I was contacted by the association to find out what was going on,” he told Naja TV. “I contacted Bayern Munich and they confirmed that they had not received the invitation. It looks like they sent it to the wrong email address instead. For me, that is a lack of professionalism. When sending invitations, be sure to send them to the correct address. If that does not happen, I do not understand why it is the club or Maxim’s fault.”
Bayer give Bosz the boot
Bayer Leverkusen replaced head coach Peter Bosz with Hannes Wolf earlier this week after a dreadful run of eight points from nine games across the second half of the season which has collapsed a Bundesliga title bid, as well as UEFA Europa League and DFB Pokal hopes at BayArena.
“Because of the footballing development in recent weeks, we have come to the conclusion that parting ways with Peter Bosz cannot be avoided,” said Bayer sporting executive Rudi Voller said in an official statement.
Strasbourg’s Simakan joins Leipzig
RB Leipzig have found their replacement for Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano with RC Strasbourg Alsace’s Mohamed Simakan joining the Germans this summer on a five-year deal after a breakout season in Ligue 1 for Racing.
“We are happy he chose Leipzig, in spite of interest from a number of other clubs,” said RBL sporting director Markus Krosche. “Mohamed is still young at 20 and has plenty of potential to develop but has already become a key player at Strasbourg.”
Gladbach-linked Alonso extends with Sociedad
Earlier this week, it appeared as if Xabi Alonso would be taking over from Marco Rose as Borussia Monchengladbach coach but the decorated former Spain international extended his contract with Real Sociedad until 2022 in a move that suggests his senior coaching debut will come sooner or later at Anoeta.
Gladbach’s loyal Wendt to return home
The German club have also confirmed that Oscar Wendt will be leaving the club this summer to return to Sweden with formative club IFK Goteborg after 10 years at BORUSSIA-PARK and the former international will leave as Die Fohlen’s most-capped foreign Bundesliga appearance maker.
No Rangnick reunion for Schalke
Ralf Rangnick will not be returning to Schalke 04 for a third time after he rejected the possibility of rebuilding the stricken Royal Blues as they head for near-certain relegation from the German Bundesliga after a catastrophic season.
“Schalke is very close to my heart,” read the 62-year-old’s statement. “The overwhelmingly positive reactions from members of the Konigsblauen community have influenced me and confirmed my feelings for this very special club.
“I would have loved to have been involved in helping Schalke on its difficult road back to its former strength. Unfortunately, due to the numerous uncertainties within the club at the moment, I do not see myself being able to take on sporting responsibility at S04 at the moment.”
Silas’ season is over
VfB Stuttgart have been dealt a blow with the news that star man Silas Wamangituka has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee sustained against Bayern Munich which could also jeopardize any hopes of a summer move.
Gignac snubbed Valencia despite ham temptation
Tigres UANL’s Andre-Pierre Gignac recently told RMC Sport that he rejected Valencia CF and Liverpool in order to join boyhood club Olympique de Marseille from Toulouse back in 2010 but perhaps more surprisingly snubbed the Spanish club’s jamon iberico in a private jet.
“It was Marseille or Liverpool in 2010,” said the 35-year-old. “I turned down Valencia just before. I was sent an airplane with nice ham inside it. I promise you, that makes you want (to move). They knew that they were going to get a deal done with a bit of jamon iberico, but I refused.”
Moulin moves on after 10 years with Angers
Angers SCO have confirmed that long-serving coach Stephane Moulin will be moving on after a decade in charge at Raymond Kopa Stadium which brings to an end the longest coaching stint across Europe’s top five leagues with the 53-year-old responsible for their rise to Ligue 1.
Henry quits social media in protest
Thierry Henry will remove himself from all social media until those in charge regulate the abuse that is rife on those platforms with the former France international demanding a similar approach to copyright infringement.
Lazio mourn Guerini
Finally, SS Lazio announced that Italy youth international midfielder Daniel Guerini died in a car crash in Rome aged just 19 on Wednesday with the club expressing how they had been “shocked by pain” following the former Torino, Fiorentina and SPAL youngster’s tragic passing.