5 Vital Players Choosing Not To Finish The Champions League Season With Their Clubs
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The long awaited return for the Champions League takes place on Friday, Aug. 7, and we all can’t wait. The Champions League will look a little different from how it did in March with a new format, new rules and new streaming. Several players no longer playing with their teams from March will also look a little different. A handful of players have chosen to deny a contract extension to stay with their clubs until August. Here is a list of the five best players that chose not to finish the Champions League season with their teams.
Before starting the list, a special shoutout has to be given to Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian midfielder agreed to a swap deal with Barcelona’s Arthur on June 29. Rather than calling it good at the end of Juve’s season, Pjanic told fans he plans to stay until the job is done.
Solo pensarlo mi mette i brividi, ma questa sera finisce la mia esperienza in @SerieA con la @juventusfc
Però non è ancora il momento dei saluti, per quelli ho intenzione di aspettare il 23 agosto #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve #Stron9er #Pjanist pic.twitter.com/ydrcdCUy4r— Miralem Pjanic (@Miralem_Pjanic) August 1, 2020
Enough loyalty, let’s get to the players who kissed their clubs goodbye and moved on to bigger and better places.
Top 5 Players Who Chose Not To Finish The Champions League With Their Team
1. Timo Werner
RB Leipzig was struck with a huge blow when Timo Werner left the club for Chelsea and Stamford Bridge. Werner has already been training with the Blues and still trying to figure out how to wear a mask properly.
Your first look at @TimoWerner in training!— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 27, 2020
Timo Werner: great goal scorer, terrible mask wearer pic.twitter.com/MUOfq81ly6— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) July 26, 2020
Werner played a large role in Leipzig’s attack, recording 28 goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga last season. In the Champions League he scored four goals and had two assists. He netted one goal and had an assist during Leipzig’s 4-0 aggregate thrashing of Tottenham in the Round of 16. The German club will be missing him on Aug. 13 when it faces Atlético Madrid in the quarterfinal.
2. Leroy Sané
After two fantastic seasons with Manchester City in the 2017-18 and 2018019 campaigns, big expectations were on the shoulders of Leroy Sané. A torn ACL in the FA Community Shield match against Liverpool almost a full year ago ruled the German out for nearly the entire season. Sané only made one league appearance in June when Manchester City defeated Burnley 5-0.
Bayern Munich quickly scooped up the speedster after Sané denied signing a contract extension to finish the season in Manchester and the 24-year-old is enjoying life at his new club.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) August 2, 2020
3. Edinson Cavani
Paris Saint-Germain was snubbed when Edinson Cavani — the club’s all-time leading goal scorer — announced that he had no intentions of signing a contract extension. Cavani had been with PSG for seven seasons and chose not to extend his contract when football returned in France after the season was canceled due to coronavirus.
Cavani had appeared in three Champions League matches for PSG this season and scored one goal in the group stage.
Benfica and newly promoted Leeds United are both linked with signing the Uruguayan striker.
Remember earlier in this article when we were admiring Pjanic for staying with Juventus until the end of the Champions League despite being in a swap deal? Well, it’s time to meet the guy on the other end of the swap deal.
Arthur has essentially rebelled against Barcelona and ran off to hide in Brazil. After the deal with Juventus was announced, Arthur never saw action on the pitch again. In response to not being played, the Brazilian informed the club he has no plans to return to training or play with the team anymore.
Barcelona has threatened him with a hefty fine, but he doesn’t seem to care.
Barcelona have threatened Arthur with the “biggest fine in the club’s history” over his late-season mutiny.Harsh. pic.twitter.com/2pq4mMLebd
— total Barça (@totalBarca) August 1, 2020
5. Thomas Meunier
Another drama-filled case, Thomas Meunier won’t be present for PSG’s Champions League quarterfinal after signing with Borussia Dortmund on June 25. Meunier said in an interview with German media that he wanted to sign a short deal to finish the Champions League season with PSG, but the French club turned him away. The four-season veteran also made the claim that PSG denied him access to the training grounds after he signed with Dortmund.
PSG’s athletic director Leonardo said to French media that the dispute was over Dortmund wanting a paid loan deal rather than a free loan deal for Meunier to participate in the Champions League with PSG.
Business is business, but I know that I wouldn’t be too keen on loaning a player for free to the team that knocked my team out of the competition. Dortmund crashed out of the Champions League in Paris after a 3-2 aggregate defeat to PSG.
Meunier made five appearances in the Champions League this season and scored against Real Madrid in the group stage.