Naby Keita suspended by Werder Bremen after he ‘chose not to travel’ for Bayer Leverkusen match

Former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been suspended by Werder Bremen until the end of the season.

Bremen head of football Clemens Fritz alleged on Saturday that the 29-year-old refused to travel for the club’s Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen after discovering he had been omitted from the matchday squad.

Keita refuted the claim in a response on Instagram, claiming Fritz was attempting to “tarnish his image”.

Werder Bremen announced on Tuesday that Keita has been suspended for the rest of the season and handed a “substantial fine”.

A club statement read: “After finding out that he would not be in the starting XI against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Naby Keita chose not to travel to the ground with the team, and decided to go home instead.”

It added: “SV Werder Bremen have suspended Naby Keïta until the end of the season.

“The club have also handed the midfielder a substantial fine. The 28-year-old will no longer train with the team or be part of the first-team dressing room.”

Fritz said: “As a club, we won’t tolerate Naby’s behaviour. He let his team down in a time of difficulty surrounding our recent run of form and squad availability, and put his own interests above those of the team. We can’t allow that.”

A combination of injuries and Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast has limited Keita to just five appearances in all competitions this term.

Keita joined the Bundesliga club last summer after a five-year stay on Merseyside.

He scored 11 goals in 129 appearances for the Reds after joining for a then club record £48m fee from RB Leipzig in 2018.



Naby Keita and Liverpool – what happened?

(Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

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