BERLIN (AP) — Hoffenheim criticized Bayern Munich on Thursday for snapping up two of its most promising players on free transfers for its youth teams.
Hoffenheim managing director Frank Briel said the loss of highly rated forward Armindo Sieb and right back Mamin Sanyang, both 17, had hurt the club.
“It’s worth discussing at least in terms of solidarity that Bayern — which has turnover of three quarters of a billion euros — is now actively pursuing the talent recruitment business,” Briel said in an interview for the club magazine. “It’s perhaps clever from their corporate strategy perspective, but it hurts us because that’s why we do the work at the academy.”
Hoffenheim also lost under-19 captain Amadou Onana to second-division club Hamburger SV.
Bayern confirmed Sanyang’s arrival on June 25 and Sieb’s transfer in May, when Hoffenheim also criticized the Bavarian club because he traveled to Munich for a checkup during the coronavirus-caused lockdown without permission.
On Monday, Bayern welcomed both players to their first training session with the club’s under-19 team.
“In Armindo we have been able to score a big German talent for ourselves,” Jochen Sauer, the head of Bayern’s youth academy, previously said of Sieb.
Sieb is a member of Germany’s under-17 team and had scored goals freely for Hoffenheim’s under-17 team.
Sanyang, who was born in Brikama, Gambia, arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2013, when he was 10 years old. He will be eligible to play for Germany next year. Last season, Sanyang played 19 games for Hoffenheim’s under-17 team and two for its under-19 team, scoring nine goals and setting up for more.
“We see him as an ideal reinforcement for our under-19s and are delighted that he will wear the Bayern jersey in future,” Sauer said of Sanyang.
Bayern’s reserve team won Germany’s third division in its first attempt last Saturday, but won’t be promoted because of league rules limiting the number of teams a club can have in the top two divisions to one.
Bayern players Michael Cuisance, Joshua Zirkzee, Sarpreet Singh, Jamal Musiala and American defender Chris Richards played for both the senior team and reserves last season.
The senior team, coached by former Germany assistant Hansi Flick, won the German Cup final to complete a domestic double and still has the Champions League next month to complete a treble.
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