Hannover 96 sports chief Horst Heldt has banned his team from playing Takuma Asano again this season because if they do they will have to pay Arsenal €3m to sign him permanently.
Hannover lost 3-1 at Wolfsburg on Saturday and it had been reported before the game that the Germans would only need to field Asano once more to meet the obligatory purchase clause in his loan deal with Arsenal.
Given Asano has made 13 Bundesliga appearances and two cup appearances, we can infer, then, that the clause kicks in from the 16th game. The clause actually stipulates that they will pay between €3m and €3.5m depending on the final number of appearances, but they won’t be paying anything now as they have said they don’t want to sign him permanently.
“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.”
Going forward, Asano will not even be afforded a place in the squad.
Asano will be under contract with Arsenal until 2020 when he returns in the summer.