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PSV wonderkid Ihattaren on verge of departure after fallout with coach Schmidt

15:12 GMT 01/03/2021
Mohamed Ihattaren Roger Schmidt PSV 2020-21
The midfielder looks destined to head through the exits this summer after being left out of a heavyweight Eredivisie clash with Ajax

Mohamed Ihattaren is on the verge of departing PSV after a fallout with head coach Roger Schmidt.

Ihattaren was left on the bench for PSV's clash with Olympiacos in the Europa League last Thursday, and reportedly vented his frustration by provoking several of his team-mates in the dressing room and dugout while neglecting his normal duties as a squad member.

A number of club officials, including Schmidt, have had issues with the midfielder's conduct this season, and the decision was subsequently made to leave him out of the first-team squad for a top-of-the-table clash with Ajax on Sunday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

What was said?

PSV released an official statement confirming the news before the game, which read: "Our entire staff, all the players and the board did everything to support Ihattaren and make him valuable at PSV.

"He didn't take that opportunity though. Therefore PSV decided to keep the 19-year-old midfielder out of the squad against Ajax. On Thursday he didn't act professionally.

"Lack of motivation, lack of discipline. Therefore we took this decision."

Schmidt told ESPN of Ihattaren's omission: "It's an internal matter. I don't want to talk about it. Everybody is trying to support him. For the last couple of weeks things went very well, but now he has taken a step back. He must deserve it to play for this club and he'll get the chance to prove himself again in the future."

The PSV manager was also asked about Ihattaren after the meeting with Ajax, and responded by saying he can still turn his career at Philips Stadion around if he sorts out his attitude.

"It was totally unacceptable. I couldn't possibly give him a spot. Today (Sunday) he was able to see what is needed in his position," Schmidt told a press conference.

"If he works as hard as Mario Gotze, Ryan Thomas, Mauro Junior, Cody Gakpo or Noni Madueke, it can still work out for him. If not, it's impossible. It's up to him if he gets to play matches again in our future." 

How did Ihattaren's agent react?

Ihattaren is represented by super agent Mino Raiola, who boasts a high-profile client list which includes the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Raiola was left outraged by PSV's statement and questioned Schmidt's authority behind the scenes during an interview with Dutch publication De Telegraaf .

"I don't agree with that statement or the decision (to keep him out of the squad). I think the coach has lost his way when he has to justify his reasons with the players," he said.

"It's better to stay at home if that's the case. Is he going to take his wife next week to let her say how she feels about his decisions? I've never seen this before and it makes no sense.

"From what I've heard, the players don't even approve of it." 

Ihattaren's flirtation with Ajax

One of the main reasons why PSV have been at odds with Ihattaren in 2020-21 has been his failure to stop communicating with Ajax players on social media.

The Netherlands international has been heavily linked with a move to Johan Cruyff ArenA over the past year, and has fuelled speculation over his future by liking the club's posts on Instagram and engaging with several first-team stars online.

Ihattaren publicly congratulated one of the Ajax players on the social media platform after the game at the weekend, which reportedly created even more friction behind the scenes at Philips Stadion.

When does Ihattaren's contract expire & what's his record for PSV?

Ihattaren's current deal is due to run until June, 2022, meaning PSV will have to cash in on the teenager this summer in order to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year.

The talented Dutchman has featured in 70 games for the club across all competitions since graduating to the first team in 2019, scoring nine goals and providing 10 assists.

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