He’s been unhappy about his limited playing time for some time, now Ivica Olic confirms what most expected: He will leave Bayern, definitely at the end of the season, maybe even in January.
Asked whether he’ll leave the club in January, the 32-year-old Croatian honey badger told Bild:
“Chances are fifty-fifty. But I’ll definitely leave in summer.”
Lately it’s been reported that Olic wants to leave the club because he doesn’t want to risk losing his permanent place in Slaven Bilic’s national team by hardly ever playing. This season, he’s only been on the pitch for 158 minutes so far (114 mins in BL, 15 mins in CL, 29 mins in Cup).
Bilic now apparently told Olic that it’s more important for him to stay healthy than it is to play regularly. Said Olic:
“I discussed the situation with Slaven Bilic. He wants me to be fit and healthy for the Euro. I can ensure that even without playing regularly. Now I’ll keep myself in shape with supplemental units in addition to the regular squad training.”
“I don’t have any problem with fulfilling my contract. It’s not like I have to leave now. We have to wait until the winter break and then make a decision together. Maybe it’s even better if I stay until summer, especially for the family.”
Personally, I assume the decision depends on a few things. First, what offers will Olic’s agent receive? Something close to a guaranteed starting spot is probably mandatory. Then, can Bayern sign a replacement as soon as he leaves? The rumor Papiss Demba Cisse is floating around, the asking price apparently isn’t too high for Nerlinger, but the main problem with that solution is the Africa Cup of Nations in January/February 2012.
Senegal is qualified and Cisse is an important player for them. To make things ‘worse’, they were drawn into the weak group A, together with hosts Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Zambia, three national teams that are anything but giants (Zambia deserves some respect). This makes qualification to the knockout stages very likely to happen which means that Cisse would definitely miss the first three Bundesliga matches of the year, maybe even one or two more and the first leg of the CL round of 16 if they make it to the semifinals (something I’d put money on).
Is the club willing to take that risk? Will, after Mark van Bommel a year ago, another fan favorite leave the club during the season? We’ll find out very soon.