Arsenal are reportedly ‘not amused’ with the behaviour of Hannover 96 in relation to Takuma Asano and a German labour law expert believes the player has a case for legal action against both clubs.

DORTMUND, GERMANY - JANUARY 26: Takuma Asano of Hannover reacts after their loss during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Hannover 96 at the Signal Iduna Park on January 26, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY – JANUARY 26: Takuma Asano of Hannover reacts after their loss during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Hannover 96 at the Signal Iduna Park on January 26, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Hannover 96 sports chief Horst Heldt banned his team from playing Takuma Asano again this season because, if they do, they will have to pay Arsenal at least €3m to sign him permanently.

Given that Asano has made 13 Bundesliga appearances and two cup appearances, we can infer that the obligatory purchase clause kicks in from the 16th game. The clause actually stipulates that Hannover will have to pay between €3m and €3.5m depending on the final number of appearances if it is above 15.

“We got the stable orders that we are no longer allowed to use him,” Heldt said on Sky TV before the game.

“If you can not invest much, then you have to be creative too,” Heldt added, before saying they had “negotiated with Arsenal London and not with backstabbing.”

Heldt said coach Thomas Doll got “a clear instruction from the management, and you have to stick to it. That’s the way it is, even if that’s a bit unusual, but at the end of the day you have to respect that.”

SINSHEIM, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 16: Takuma Asano of Hannover 96 looks on from the bench during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Hannover 96 at PreZero-Arena on February 16, 2019 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
SINSHEIM, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 16: Takuma Asano of Hannover 96 looks on from the bench during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Hannover 96 at PreZero-Arena on February 16, 2019 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Going forward, Asano will not even be afforded a place in the squad.

That has, understandably, annoyed Arsenal and Sport1 in Germany report that legal expert, Heiko Hecht, told them the player has a case for legal action against Hannover and Arsenal.

“We have here a contractual obligation to the player because the player has a great interest to be used,” said the lawyerThe argument: “His playful performance takes place on the court – and not on the bench or even in the stands.” 

Basically, he’s highlighting that by ordering the manager not to pick Asano, the player has effectively been banned from playing and denied the chance to keep himself in the shop window to land a move elsewhere.

By making a statement to the media about it, Hannover have helped the case against them. Arsenal, meanwhile, allowed the clause to be inserted and must have been aware this was a possible outcome.

“This is very good for the documentation and for a possible claim for damages against Hannover 96 or Arsenal because the player himself wants to play with security – he is now taken the opportunity,” Hecht explained. The ban “hurts his reputation and also his ability to develop his playing skills in the field.”

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