He’s decided not to practice in hopes of forcing management’s hands to let him leave.
French defender Geoffrey Kondogbia skipped out on training last week as he hopes to be able to sign with Valencia, according to several reports.
Ok, I completely understand Kondogbia wants to go.
His preseason has been lackluster to say the least and it certainly doesn’t appear that Inter boss Luciano Spalletti has any intention of featuring the midfielder as he already added Borja Valero and Matías Vecino — both from Fiorentina — to the Nerazzurri midfield. Toss in Joao Mario and Roberto Gagliardini and Inter has a potentially dangerous midfield.
But, really when did the wheels fall off for Kondogbia?
You need only look at the International Champions Cup 2017 in Singapore.
It was Inter’s game with defending Premier League champions Chelsea at the Singapore National Stadium.
The Nerazzurri lead 2-0 in the 74th minute when, after taking a pass from Jeison Murillo — who is reportedly set to join Valencia for €13 million — on the right side of the field. Before making any move with the ball, Kondogbia launched what can only be described as the best goal of his career.
The only problem … it went into his own net from about 40 yards out.
It was after that when talk of Kondogbia wanting to leave started to heat up.
Of course when you are vilified by the Italian, French and even American press over the goal, it is hard not to see why he might want to leave.
Then, Friday before the final friendly, a 1-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday, Kondogbia elected to skip out of practice and Spalletti left him off the roster for the game at Lecce.
On Friday, Spalletti seemed as surprised as anyone else that Kondogbia was seeking a way out of the San Siro.
“Surprised or bitter about Kondogbia? He had this idea to change [teams], it came out of the blue and I tried to convince him [to stay], but someone else probably made him certain promises,” Spalletti told reporters on Friday, according to Football-Italia.net.
That surprise turned to absolute bitterness over the weekend as Spalletti vented frustration over Kondogbia’s actions saying those actions are “very disappointing” and that Kondogbia’s actions “don’t reflect the person we know.”
“Kondogbia is strong and has been paid as a strong player, so if there aren’t the right conditions for him to go, then he’s staying here,” Spalletti said, following the 1-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday. “We’ll evaluate whether to sign someone else in the middle, but I won’t let a quality player leave without a quality replacement.”
Bottom line is this … if you don’t want to play for the team, fine, but don’t get petulant about it and decide you are taking your ball home and not playing with anyone.
If that is truly Kondogbia’s mental take on the situation, what do other teams who may be interested in him think about that? A lot of coaches and management likely don’t have a favorable impression about players who just arbitrarily decide to not lace up and play because they don’t want to be on the team anymore.
Again, if Kondogbia wants to go, fine. Inter, however, will be hard-pressed to find a team willing to pay close to the €36 million Inter paid to lure him away from Monaco in 2015. Presently, Kondogbia’s market value is around €18 million, so clubs may haggle and try to pay no more than €10-12 million. Reports from Football-Italia.net are that Inter is asking about €30 million for K-dog.
The thing here is that Kondogbia needs to act like he’s been here before and not like a child. Play out and show other clubs why they should want you. Actions now only tell those clubs that you could be a potential problem if you aren’t getting your way.
Last season, Kondogbia played in 26 matches between Serie A and the Coppa Italia for Inter. He notched one goal — in a 2-2 draw with Torino in March. He sat out a total of three games on suspension, including two of the last three of the season because of a red card.
So, K-dog … you want out that’s okay, but act like a professional which is a far cry from how you have handled this situation.