Hannover 96 are planning to exclude Takuma Asano from their matchday squads for the rest of the season to avoid having to pay his purchase clause, according to reports.
Rather bizarrely, reports in Germany (via Mirror) suggest Asano has an automatic purchase clause in his contract that will activate after 16 games. He played his 15th of the campaign in the last round of fixtures, so one more would lead to a permanent sale and an extra £2.6m in the bank for Arsenal.
Unfortunately, Hannover don’t want to pay. They’re facing the strong probability of relegation, and spending £2.6m on a player who has only featured 15 times for them in this campaign anyway doesn’t sound like good business. As a result, they’ve informed Arsenal they won’t be playing him for the next couple of months.
The Mirror claim Arsenal are ‘angry’ about the whole loan saga, believing when they loaned Asano that he would get more of a chance to prove himself. Of course, it’s certainly frustrating right now, knowing that the forward will spend the next two months in Germany not playing matches.
We should know soon enough how much truth there is in the story. Hannover face Wolfsburg on Saturday at 14:30, so that will be our first opportunity to see if Asano is even in the squad.