Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel has defended Sadio Mane following his altercation with teammate Leroy Sane, revealing that the Senegalese has duly apologized for his behavior.
Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane had a bust-up in the dressing room following Bayern Munich’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on April 11. The former Liverpool star punched Sane, reportedly leaving a mark on the Germany international’s face. It is believed that the pair had to be dragged away by their teammates.
Bayern Munich have since suspended Mane for violating the code of conduct. A club statement read:
“Sadio Mane, 31, will not be in the FC Bayern squad for the home game against 1899 Hoffenheim next Saturday.
“The reason is misconduct by Mane after FC Bayern’s Champions League game at Manchester City. In addition, Mane will receive a fine.”
Attending a pre-match press conference ahead of the clash against Hoffenheim on Saturday (15 April), Tuchel defended the Senegal star, calling him an exemplary professional.
“I’m here to defend Mané. I’ve known him for a very long time and only know him as an absolute professional. I also know his entourage. He has never been guilty of anything,” said Tuchel (via iMiaSanMia).
“It was against the code of conduct, he recognized it and apologized.”
Tuchel has confirmed that Mane’s suspension will be for one game only. This means that he should be in contention to play in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City on 19 April.
While the reason behind the altercation has not been revealed, reports have claimed that Mane’s outburst was fueled by the way Sane spoke to him after the defeat in Manchester.
Leroy Sane requested Bayern Munich not to punish Sadio Mane too harshly
Leroy Sane, who supposedly cut his upper lip in the aftermath of the altercation, reportedly asked Bayern Munich to go easy on his teammate Sadio Mane.
According to German outlet SPORT1, Leroy Sane went over the whole incident with the Bayern Munich hierarchy. He then asked them not to dole out too harsh a punishment on Mane, as he did not want the issue to drag on.
It has been claimed that CEO Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic want Mane to show a positive reaction to the whole bust-up. If the former Southampton star fails to step up in the business end of the season, he could be sold this summer.
Mane has played 32 games for the Bavarians this season across competitions, scoring only 11 times and claiming five assists. A leg injury and poor run of form have kept him from becoming a steady member of the starting XI at the Allianz Arena.