AZ strikers Moussa Dembele and Mounir El Hamdaoui moved a step closer to a departure from the Eredivisie club as they were left out of AZ's 23-man squad for ETL-DOM-Cup taking place this week in Cologne, Germany.
According to the official club website, AZ.nl, the management felt that iwas more appropriate to leave the duo at home in anticipation of a possible transfer away from Alkmaar. The move comes in the light of AZ's ongoing need to pay off the debts accumulated by previous owner Dirk Scheringa whose DSB Bank collapsed last year after the Dutch government refused a bail-out package. This need has not abated despite the club's recent takeover and last week influential midfielder David Mendes da Silva was sold to Red Bull Salzburg for €2.5m.
Incidentally, AZ coped fine without their first-choice strike partnership as they earned a 2-0 victory over Turkish giants Fenerbahçe. Despite the Turkish side having the majority of the chances, AZ took the lead shortly after the interval from an exquisite Nick Van Der Velden volley.
They sealed the win when young Icelandic attacker Johann Berg Gudmondsson latched onto an Ali Messaoud flick-on before lobbing 'keeper Volkan Babacan with aplomb.