Nantes coach claims Miazga faked back injury to force an exit

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The defender's time with the club appears at an end after the Ligue 1 side's manager said the U.S. international is back in England with Chelsea

Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic has slammed United States international Matt Miazga, claiming he faked a back injury and added the defender is now back in England.

Miazga joined Nantes on loan from Chelsea over the summer after a successful two-year spell with Eredivisie side Vitesse.

However, the centre-back endured a difficult season with Nantes, only featuring eight times for the club and not playing at all for them in Ligue 1 since October 7.

That match was the first for Halilhodzic after he took over for Miguel Cardoso and the 23-year-old American has been unable to play his way back into the manager’s plans since, even being dropped to Nantes II for a couple of matches. 

Reports have filtered out that the former New York Red Bulls defender would be terminating his loan early, and it appears that may well be the case after Halilhodzic’s comments to media on Monday.

On Sunday, the Nantes boss made a cryptic statement during his news conference following 1-0 defeat to Angers, saying: “I do not know what is happening behind my back. Some even blackmail ... There are many things that are wrong and I am sad, very sad.”

He did not reveal the nature of what he was referring to at that point, but on Monday, specifically called out Miazga for, according to the manager, faking a back injury because he wanted to leave Nantes.

“The blackmail I was talking about yesterday was about Matt Miazga,” Halilhodzic said. “He assured me that he had a sore back. After exams, however, there was no problem... He just wanted to leave the club."

Halilhodzic went to say Miazga was back with Chelsea in England, indicating it was for the purposes of terminating the loan, though the defender neglected to inform Nantes of that decision.

“This morning Miazga was in England, in Chelsea,” he added. “He didn't warn anyone.

“These things bother me. But it has to be done with, even if it disappointed me a lot. "

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Miazga will almost certainly be in the hunt for another club by the end of the January window, nearly exactly three years on from the start of his European career.

The defender made a $5 million (£4m) move to Chelsea in January 2016, and featured for the Blues a couple of times in the Premier League that season under interim manager Guus Hiddink.

But Miazga could never play his way into the plans of Antonio Conte, and spent the next two seasons at Vitesse, where he won the Dutch cup in 2016-17, prior to his move this summer to Ligue 1.

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