SV Darmstadt coach Torsten Frings has criticised want-away midfielder Florian Jungwirth, 28, who is reportedly seeking a transfer to Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquake.
The Darmstadt boss left Jungwirth off the squad of his side's 6-1 home defeat to FC Cologne at the weekend, and following the loss hit out at the midfielder, accusing him of "training like he wanted to go to the United States."
Clearly angered, Frings reiterated previous statements that they promised to look for an alternative, but said that "as long as there isn't one, he needs to continue to work his butt off for us."
Frings, who took charge of Darmstadt during the winter break, warned the player whose deal with the bottom club expires this summer.
"If he doesn't do that, he'll sit in the stands for six months," Frings said. "There's no other way. Players can't dictate to the club what they have to do. Contracts are there to fulfil them."
Darmstadt have only picked up nine points from their first 18 games of the season, and are facing an uphill task to secure top flight football next season.
"We can't make ourselves worse than we already are, just because someone wants to fulfil himself a dream. I dreamt that we'd win today, but it did not turn into reality. And what can I do about it?"
Speaking to kicker, Jungwirth questioned the timing of Frings' rant.
"Sure, the coach can criticise my training performances in public," the 28-year-old said. "But whether that belongs on a news conference following a 6-1 defeat where I wasn't even in the squad is anyone's guess."
The player added that Frings "overstated his case," and reiterated that the club knew about his wish to leave for the United States "for months."
"Everyone knows with how much blood, sweat and tears I threw myself into it every single minute I stood on the pitch for Darmstadt. Thus, the criticism is not only inappropriate and unfair, but also just wrong," Jungwirth said.