Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper Michael Rensing has been fined €10,000 after walking out on his team only hours before their first game of the new season.
Former Bayern Munich 'keeper Rensing, 29, joined Fortuna prior to the 2. Bundesliga season and hoped to establish himself as first-choice goalkeeper. He had initially been brought in on a free transfer from Leverkusen to replace 23-year old Fabian Giefer, who had been linked with a switch to Schalke 04 in the summer.
On Monday, though, Rensing had been informed by Dusseldorf coach Mike Buskens that — with Giefer still at the club — he would start the season on the bench. Rensing then walked out on the team, and third-choice 'keeper Robin Heller took his place on the bench as Dusseldorf beat Energie Cottbus 1-0.
He was fined for his actions but Dusseldorf sporting director Wolf Werner said: "He has offered his apologies and therefore deserves a second chance."
But local newspaper Rheinische Post believes he would have been released from his contract but for the fact his club would have been unable to find an adequate replacement. Augsburg, who had been touted as potential suitors, also decided not to make a move for the player.
Rensing said on Thursday that "no final decision has been made" on his future.
He added: "I’ve had a wonderful career with many great memories that not many others have had. I have to wait and see how it will continue."