Berlin (AFP) – Schalke on Monday hit back at allegations from Max Meyer that senior club officials bullied him by suspending the Germany midfielder for their last two games.
Meyer’s contract expires at the end of the season and despite being linked to Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, he has yet to reveal his plans.
Schalke moved quickly after Meyer told German daily Bild that he “felt bullied” out of the club by sports director Christian Heidel and chairman Clemens Toennies.
“We cannot tolerate this approach and these statements – even more so the incorrect allegations which disturb us and we strongly reject,” said Heidel.
Schalke’s coach Domenico Tedesco, who has steered the club to second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich, also slammed Meyer.
“I am disappointed with his personal attacks and I cannot understand them, because they just are not true,” said Tedesco.
Meyer, 22, has been suspended from the first-team squad, effectively cutting his ties after nine years with the German club he joined as a junior.
Having made the last of his four appearances for Germany in 2016, Meyer recently informed Schalke he will not renew his contract.
His suspension follows a season-long stand off as Schalke tried to persuade him to stay after losing Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka to Bayern for next season.
Heidel publically confirmed last week that Meyer will leave and the relationship quickly soured.
The box-to-box midfielder reportedly rejected an offer of 5.5 million euros ($6.6m) per season to stay and insists his motivation to leave is not based on money.
“I has never been about money, otherwise I would have accepted the second improved offer,” Meyer told Bild on Monday.
“That’s why I find it a mess that Clemens Toennies went on television and said it was all about money.
“I simply did not want to stay with Schalke and work under Mr Heidel.
“That is what it’s all about — lately it has felt like bullying to me.”
Just hours after the interview was posted on Bild’s website, Meyer was suspended.