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Mario Mandzukic held out of Bayern 18 for poor training performance

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Matthias Sammer says Mario Mandzukic was withheld from the Bundesliga restart due to poor training performance

Alexander Hassenstein

This is certainly not the story Bayern Munich fans were expecting upon the restart of the Bundesliga. Mere weeks after Bayern Munich signed Robert Lewandowski on a free transfer and Matthias Sammer made it clear that Mario Mandzukic was an important piece in this squad moving forward, the Croatian international was left out of the Bayern Munich 18 man roster in their match against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

It was cause for immediate concern given the rampant injury accumulation that has marked this squad's season but that was soon replaced by much more worrying concerns:

It was shocking news given that mere weeks ago Matthias Sammer publicly stated that Mario Mandzukic is a key player for Bayern Munich but that he like every other player on the squad will face stiff competition for playing time. It certainly doesn't jive with the expectations of how Mandzukic should have responded. Especially when Matthias Sammer publicly went on Sky Sports moments before the game, confirmed the story, then stated "We are Bayern Munich. We have the highest standards. Mario has not trained well. Therefore, he is not in the squad".

Given that transfer rumors focusing on the 27-year-old have been spinning for weeks now, this was probably the most inopportune time for this and the most opportune time for some parts of the media. It's an even more inopportune time with the English media breathing down the neck of the match and David Moyes in the audience at Borussia Park. If you were hoping for a quiet end to the transfer window, you can probably kiss those chances goodbye.