Bundesliga - Thurk refuses to leave Augsburg
Veteran striker Michael Thurk has insisted he will stand firm at Augsburg, despite the promoted club’s surprising decision to 'sack' him.
Thurk, 35, has been one of Augsburg’s key players since joining in 2008 but was told he was surplus to requirements yesterday following a "tactical change" on promotion to the Bundesliga.
The deep-lying forward has a year left on his contract and it was initially assumed the club had cancelled it - but it transpires he was simply suspended from all team activities and told to train alone, apparently in the hope he would leave of his own accord.
Team manager Andreas Rettig and coach Jos Luhukay insisted the decision was "primarily for sporting reasons" but it seems strange that he should be barred from training if the club merely wished to sell him.
Thurk agreed, digging his heels and hinting that the decision may have been political, having fallen foul of Luhukay in March.
"A change of team is not an option for me at this stage," he told TV station Sport1. "I will accept the club’s decision as they hold my contract.
"But I will stay here in Augsburg and wait for my chance."
The former Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurst forward added that he had no idea why he had been suspended, with the official reason a change in formation from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1.
"Naturally I am hugely disappointed over this decision, because I cannot comprehend it and neither do others," he continued.
"I have absolutely done nothing wrong but I am not totally shocked - I have seen before how the coach has dealt with me."
His agent added that he had not been instructed to look for a new club.
"Micha has a training schedule to keep himself fit," Klaus Gerster told a local newspaper.
"He and his family are happy in Augsburg and he is content to wait for his chance."
Thurk has scored over 50 goals in three-and-a-half years for Augsburg, with nine and seven assists last season.