Tuchel backs 'absolute professional' Mane after Sane spat

By Sports Desk April 14, 2023

Thomas Tuchel was keen to draw a line under the incident between Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane that allegedly saw the former Liverpool man punch his Bayern Munich team-mate.

The pair were seen arguing on the pitch during Bayern's 3-0 defeat at Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday, with reports saying they had come to blows after the game.

Bayern announced on Thursday that Mane had been fined and suspended from Saturday's Bundesliga game at home to Hoffenheim.

"Yes just the one match, and the fine. These are the consequences of his behaviour," Bayern head coach Tuchel confirmed at a press conference on Friday.

He added: "I didn't see it myself because I was in the coaching room. Of course, I immediately spoke to everyone involved, the players and the staff.

"It was important that we clarified the matter before we started the next training session. We did that yesterday. We have cleared up everything so that we can train positively with each other again.

"The way both players involved dealt with it, and the way the other players dealt with it, it had a cleansing effect. We had a positive atmosphere yesterday and today."

Tuchel insisted the matter is now closed, and supported Mane, expressing his belief that it was out of character for someone he considers an "absolute professional."

"I'm the first one to defend him. I've known him for a very long time and only know him as an absolute professional... He has never been guilty of anything [like this before].

"It was against the club's code of conduct, and he recognised it and apologised."

 

Mane has struggled on the pitch as well as off it since his move from Liverpool last year, with many calling into question whether he can reproduce the form he showed in his time at Anfield.

"Maybe he needs not to think too much," Tuchel suggested. "He hesitates and takes long to react. That's why it seems he can be half a step too late. We want to get him to where he was [at Liverpool] through trust and appreciation. He was an absolute top striker in the best league in the world."

Bayern have been linked with a big-money move for a striker at the end of the season, with Napoli's Victor Osimhen chief among the names being touted.

Tuchel was asked about the Nigerian, but kept his cards close to his chest, replying: "I have an opinion on that, but I know how things work.

"If I say something about it and it spills over to Italy, then my colleague there will say: 'Why doesn't Thomas keep his mouth shut?' I'm not going to talk about players of other clubs."

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